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      /  Literature   /  The Joyous Dead

    The Joyous Dead

    Charles Baudelaire

    Translated by Roy Campbell

    In a fat, greasy soil, that’s full of snails,

    I’ll dig a grave deep down, where I may sleep

    Spreading my bones at ease, to drowse in deep

    Oblivion, as a shark within the wave.

    I hate all tombs, and testaments, and wills:

    I want no human tears; I’d like it more,

    That ravens could attack me with their bills,

    To broach my carcase of its living gore.

    O worms! black friends, who cannot hear or see,

    A free and joyous corpse behold in me!

    You philosophic souls, corruption-bred,

    Plough through my ruins! eat your merry way!

    And if there are yet further torments, say,

    For this old soulless corpse among the dead.