BLACK CAT POEMS
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For the Book of Love
translated by Jethro Bithell
I MAY be dead tomorrow, uncaressed.
My lips have never touched a woman's, none
Has given me in a look her
, not one
Has ever held me swooning at her breast.
I have but suffered, for all nature, trees
Whipped by the winds, wan flowers, the ashen sky,
Suffered with all my nerves, minutely, I
Have suffered for my soul's impurities.
And I have spat on
, and, mad with
Slaughtered my flesh, and life's
And, while the whole world else was Instinct's slave,
With bitter laughter Instinct I defied.
In drawing-rooms, the
, the church,
Before cold men, the greatest, most refined,
And women with eyes jealous, proud, or kind,
Whose tender souls no lust would seem to smirch.
I thought: This is the end for which they work.
Beasts coupling with the groaning beasts they capture.
And all this dirt for just three minutes' rapture!
Men, be correct! And women, purr and smirk!
poems by Jules Laforgue