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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La Mort des Amants

Nous aurons des lits pleins d'odeurs légères,
Des divans profonds comme des tombeaux,
Et d'étranges fleurs sur des étagères,
Ecloses pour nous sous des cieux plus beaux.

Usant à l'envi leurs chaleurs dernières,
Nos deux coeurs seront deux vastes flambeaux,
Qui réfléchiront leurs doubles lumières
Dans nos deux esprits, ces miroirs jumeaux.

Un soir fait de rose et de bleu mystique,
Nous échangerons un éclair unique,
Comme un long sanglot, tout chargé d'adieux;

Et plus tard un Ange, entr'ouvrant les portes,
Viendra ranimer, fidèle et joyeux,
Les miroirs ternis et les flammes mortes.

Charles Baudelaire


The Death of Lovers

We shall have beds full of subtle perfumes,
Divans as deep as graves, and on the shelves
Will be strange flowers that blossomed for us
Under more beautiful heavens.

Using their dying flames emulously,
Our two hearts will be two immense torches
Which will reflect their double light
In our two souls, those twin mirrors.

Some evening made of rose and of mystical blue
A single flash will pass between us
Like a long sob, charged with farewells;

And later an Angel, setting the doors ajar,
Faithful and joyous, will come to revive
The tarnished mirrors, the extinguished flames.

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


The Death of Lovers

We shall have beds round which light scents are wafted,
Divans which are as deep and wide as tombs;
Strange flowers that under brighter skies were grafted
Will scent our shelves with rare exotic blooms.

When, burning to the last their mortal ardour,
Our torch-like hearts their bannered flames unroll,
Their double light will kindle all the harder
Within the deep, twinned mirror of our soul.

One evening made of mystic rose and blue,
I will exchange a lightning-flash with you,
Like a long sob that bids a last adieu.

Later, the Angel, opening the door
Faithful and happy, will at last renew
Dulled mirrors, and the flames that leap no more.

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


La Mort des amants

beds of subtle fragrance shall be ours,
soft divans far deeper than a tomb,
fairer climes shall yield mysterious flowers
— flowers which for us were made to bloom.

lavishing our final amorous hours
there, our flaming hearts shall merge and loom
in the twin mirrors of these souls of ours
— torches vast which side by side consume.

then some evening, rose and mystic blue,
charged with the sobbing woe of our adieu,
Love shall links us in one lightning-spark;

later, shall the faithful angel fling
all the portals wide, illumining
the flameless torches and the mirrors dark.

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