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The Two Good Sisters

Debauchery and Death are pleasant twins,
And lavish with their charms, a buxom pair!
Under the rags that clothe their virgin skins,
Their wombs, though still in labour, never bear.

For the cursed poet, foe to married rest,
The friend of hell, and courtier on half-pay --
Brothels and tombs reserve for such a guest
A bed on which repentance never lay.

Both tomb and bed, in blasphemy so fecund,
Each other's hospitality to second,
Prepare grim treats, and hatch atrocious things.

Debauch, when will you bury me? When, Death,
Mingle your Cypress in the selfsame wreath
With the infected Myrtles that she brings?

(Charles Baudelaire)


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