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.

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Le Vin du solitaire

Le regard singulier d'une femme galante
Qui se glisse vers nous comme le rayon blanc
Que la lune onduleuse envoie au lac tremblant,
Quand elle y veut baigner sa beauté nonchalante;

Le dernier sac d'écus dans les doigts d'un joueur;
Un baiser libertin de la maigre Adeline;
Les sons d'une musique énervante et câline,
Semblable au cri lointain de l'humaine douleur,

Tout cela ne vaut pas, ô bouteille profonde,
Les baumes pénétrants que ta panse féconde
Garde au coeur altéré du poète pieux;

Tu lui verses l'espoir, la jeunesse et la vie,
— Et l'orgueil, ce trésor de toute gueuserie,
Qui nous rend triomphants et semblables aux Dieux!

Charles Baudelaire


The Wine of the Solitary

The strange look of a lady of pleasure
Turned slyly toward us like the white beam
Which the undulous moon casts on the trembling lake
When she wishes to bathe her nonchalant beauty;

The last bag of crowns between a gambler's fingers;
A lustful kiss from slender Adeline;
The sound of music, tormenting and caressing,
Resembling the distant cry of a man in pain,

All that is not worth, O deep, deep bottle,
The penetrating balm that your fruitful belly
Holds for the thirsty heart of the pious poet;

You pour out for him hope, and youth, and life
— And pride, the treasure of all beggary,
Which makes us triumphant and equal to the gods!

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


The Wine of the Solitary Man

The love-glance of a courtesan that swims
With undulating ray like that the moon
Sends to the waiting, tremulous lagoon
Where she's about to lave her languid limbs:

The last few florins in a gambler's fingers:
The lustful kiss of slender Adeline:
A haunting tune that wheedles and malingers,
Wherein all human anguish seems to pine:

All these aren't worth, O bottle kind and deep,
The penetrating balms that swell your paunch
The pious poet's wounded heart to staunch.

You pour him hope, youth, life, and healing sleep —
And pride, all Beggary's diadem and treasure,
By which our triumphs with the Gods' we measure.

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


Le Vin du solitaire

the wildering glances of a harlot fair
seen gliding toward us like the silver wake
of undulant moonlight on the quivering lake
when Phoebe bathes her languorous beauty there;

the last gold coins a gambler's fingers hold;
the wanton kiss of love-worn Adeline,
the wheedling songs that leave the will supine
— like far-off cries of sorrow unconsoled —

all these, o bottle deep, were never worth
the pungent balsams in thy fertile girth
stored for the pious poet's thirsty heart;

thou pourest hope and youth and strength anew,
— and pride, this treasure of the beggar-crew,
that lifts us like triumphant gods, apart!

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