Charles Baudelaire – L’Horlage
The Clock! a sinister, impassive god
Whose threatening finger says to us: ‘Remember!
Soon in your anguished heart, as in a target,
Quivering shafts of Grief will plant themselves;
Vaporous Joy glides over the horizon
The way a sylphid flits into the wings;
Each instant eats a piece of the delight
A man is granted for his earthly season.
Three thousand and six hundred times an hour
The Second sighs, Remember! Suddenly
That droning insect Now says: I am Past
And I have sucked your life into my nostril!
Esto memor! Remember! Souviens-toi!
(My metal throat speaks out in a every language)
Don’t let the minutes, prodigal, be wasted
They are the ore you must refine for gold!
Remember, Time is greedy at the game
And wins on every roll! perfectly legal.
The day runs down; the night comes on; remember!
The water-clock bleeds into the abyss.
Soon sounds the hour when Chance the heavenly,
When Virtue the august, eternal virgin,
When even (oh! your last retreat) Repentance,
Will tell you: Die old coward! it’s too late!’