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.
Le Goût du néant
Morne esprit, autrefois amoureux de la lutte,
Résigne-toi, mon coeur; dors ton sommeil de brute.
Esprit vaincu, fourbu! Pour toi, vieux maraudeur,
Le Printemps adorable a perdu son odeur!
Et le Temps m'engloutit minute par minute,
Avalanche, veux-tu m'emporter dans ta chute?
— Charles Baudelaire
The Desire for Annihilation
Dejected soul, once anxious for the strife,
Resign yourself, my heart; sleep your brutish sleep.
Conquered, foundered spirit! For you, old jade,
Adorable spring has lost its fragrance!
And Time engulfs me minute by minute,
Avalanche, will you sweep me along in your fall?
— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)
The Thirst for the Void
My soul, you used to love the battle's rumble.
Sleep now the sleep of brutes, proud heart: be humble.
O broken raider, for your outworn mettle,
The blooms of spring are vanquished by the nettle.
As snows devour stiff corpses in their welter,
Come, Avalanche! and sweep me helter-skelter.
— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)
Poor weary soul! To think how thou wouldst plunge and leap
Thou, too, my heart, lie down and sleep thy bestial sleep.
And thou, my mind, old highwayman, thou who didst fling
Gone, gone: even that infallible sweet thrill of spring!
Time blots me out, as flakes on freezing bodies fall;
Come down and carry me away, O avalanche.
— George Dillon, Flowers of Evil (NY: Harper and Brothers, 1936)