Metamorphosis of the Vampire

by Charles Baudelaire

Meanwhile the woman, from her strawberry lips,
(Like a snake on redhot coals, writhing her hips
And working her breasts against the stays of her busk)
Let flow these words, with a heavy scent of musk:
"My mouth is wet; and I know deep in my bed
How to bury old conscience till he's dead.
On these proud breasts I wipe all tears away
And old men laugh like children at their play.
For the man who sees me naked, I replace
The moon, the sun, and all the stars of space!
And I am so expert in voluptuous charms
That when I hush a man in my terrible arms
Yielding my bosom to his biting lust,
(Shy but provocative, frail and yet robust)
The mattress swoons in commotion under me,
And the helpless angels would be damned for me!

When she had sucked the marrow from every bone,
I turned to her as languid as a stone
To give her one last kiss ... and saw her thus:
A slimy rotten wineskin, full of pus!
I shut my eyes, transfixed in a chill of fright,
And when I opened them to the living light . . .
Beside me there, the powerful robot
That fed its fill out of my blood . . . was not!
Instead, the cold ruins of a skeleton
Shivered, creaking like a weather vane
Or like a sign hung out on an iron arm
Swinging through long winter nights in the storm.