Poems of Charles Baudelaire/The Evil Monk

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For works with similar titles, see The Evil Monk.

The Evil Monk.

The ancient cloisters on their lofty walls
   Had holy Truth in painted frescoes shown,
And, seeing these, the pious in those halls
   Felt their cold, lone austereness less alone.

At that time when Christ's seed flowered all around,
   More than on monk, forgotten in his hour,
Taking for studio the burial-ground,
   Glorified Death with simple faith and power.

And my soul is a sepulchre where I,
Ill cenobite, have spent eternity:
   On the vile cloister walls no pictures rise.

O when may I cast off this weariness,
And make the pageant of my old distress
   For these hands labour, pleasure for these eyes?