Two editions of Fleurs du mal were published in Baudelaire's lifetime — one in 1857 and an expanded edition in 1861. "Scraps" and censored poems were collected in Les Épaves in 1866. After Baudelaire died the following year, a "definitive" edition appeared in 1868.

Supervert - Necrophilia VariationsFleursdumal.org is a labor of love produced and maintained by Supervert.

External Links

Harmonie du soir

Voici venir les temps où vibrant sur sa tige
Chaque fleur s'évapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir;
Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige!

Chaque fleur s'évapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Le violon frémit comme un coeur qu'on afflige;
Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir.

Le violon frémit comme un coeur qu'on afflige,
Un coeur tendre, qui hait le néant vaste et noir!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir;
Le soleil s'est noyé dans son sang qui se fige.

Un coeur tendre, qui hait le néant vaste et noir,
Du passé lumineux recueille tout vestige!
Le soleil s'est noyé dans son sang qui se fige...
Ton souvenir en moi luit comme un ostensoir!

Charles Baudelaire


Evening Harmony

The season is at hand when swaying on its stem
Every flower exhales perfume like a censer;
Sounds and perfumes turn in the evening air;
Melancholy waltz and languid vertigo!

Every flower exhales perfume like a censer;
The violin quivers like a tormented heart;
Melancholy waltz and languid vertigo!
The sky is sad and beautiful like an immense altar.

The violin quivers like a tormented heart,
A tender heart, that hates the vast, black void!
The sky is sad and beautiful like an immense altar;
The sun has drowned in his blood which congeals...

A tender heart that hates the vast, black void
Gathers up every shred of the luminous past!
The sun has drowned in his blood which congeals...
Your memory in me glitters like a monstrance!

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)


Evening Harmony

Now comes the eve, when on its stem vibrates
Each flower, evaporating like a censer;
When sounds and scents in the dark air grow denser;
Drowsed swoon through which a mournful waltz pulsates!

Each flower evaporates as from a censer;
The fiddle like a hurt heart palpitates;
Drowsed swoon through which a mournful waltz pulsates;
The sad, grand sky grows, altar-like, immenser.

The fiddle, like a hurt heart, palpitates,
A heart that hates oblivion, ruthless censor.
The sad, grand sky grows, altar-like, immenser.
The sun in its own blood coagulates...

A heart that hates oblivion, ruthless censor,
The whole of the bright past resuscitates.
The sun in its own blood coagulates...
And, monstrance-like, your memory flames intenser!

— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)


Harmonie du soir

the hours approach when vibrant in the breeze,
a censer swoons to every swaying flower;
blown tunes and scents in turn enchant the bower;
languorous waltz of swirling fancies these!

a censer swoons in every swaying flower;
the quivering violins cry out, decrease;
languorous waltz of swirling fancies these!
mournful and fair the heavenly altars tower.

the quivering violins cry out, decrease;
like hearts of love the Void must overpower!
mournful and fair the heavenly altars tower.
the drowned sun bleeds in fast congealing seas.

a heart of love the Void must overpower
peers for a vanished day's last vestiges!
the drowned sun bleeds in fast congealing seas...
and like a Host thy flaming memories flower!

— Lewis Piaget Shanks, Flowers of Evil (New York: Ives Washburn, 1931)


Evening Harmony

Now is the time when trembling on its stem
Each flower fades away like incense;
Sounds and scents turn in the evening air;
A melancholy waltz, a soft and giddy dizziness!

Each flower fades away like incense;
The violin thrills like a tortured heart;
A melancholy waltz, a soft and giddy dizziness!
The sky is sad and beautiful like some great resting-place.

The violin thrills like a tortured heart,
A tender heart, hating the wide black void.
The sky is sad and beautiful like some great resting-place;
The sun drowns itself in its own clotting blood.

A tender heart, boring the wide black void,
Gathers all trace from the pellucid past.
The sun drowns itself in clotting blood.
Like the Host shines O your memory in me!

— Geoffrey Wagner, Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire (NY: Grove Press, 1974)