A poem by Charles Baudelaire
Angel of gladness, do you know of anguish,
Shame, of troubles, sobs, and of remorse,
And of the vague terrors of those awful nights
That squeeze the heart like paper in a ball?
Angel of gladness, do you know of pain?
Angel of kindness, do you know of hatred,
Clenched fists in the shadow, tears of gall,
When Vengeance beats his hellish call to arms,
And makes himself the captain of our will?
Angel of kindness, do you know about revenge?
Angel of health, are you aware of Fevers
Who by pallid hospitals’ great walls
Stagger like exiles, with the lagging foot,
Searching for sunlight, mumbling with their lips?
Angel of health, do you know of disease?
Angel of beauty, do you know of wrinkles,
Fear of growing old, the great torment
To read the horror of self-sacrifice
In eyes our avid eyes had drunk for years?
Angel of beauty, do you know these lines?
Angel of fortune, happiness and light,
David in dying might have claimed the health*
That radiates from your enchanted flesh;
But, angel, I implore your prayers,
Angel of fortune, happiness and light!