Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
The Rebel
By Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867)
 
Translated by Cosmo Monkhouse

AN ANGEL swoops like eagle on his prey,
  Grips by the hair the unbelieving wight,
  And furious cries, “O scorner of the right,
  ’Tis I, thine Angel good, who speaks. Obey!
Know, thou shalt love without the least distaste        5
  The poor, the base, the crooked and the dull;
  So shall the pageant of thy Lord be graced
  With banners by thy love made beautiful.
This is God’s love. See that thy soul be fired
  With its pure flame or e’er thy heart grow tired,        10
  And thou shalt know the bliss that lasts for aye.”
Ah! with what ruthless love that Angel grand
  Tortures and racks the wretch with giant hand!
  —But still he answers “Never, till I die.”
 
 
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