Be Drunk


Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)


One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters;
That’s our one imperative need. So as not to feel Time’s
Horrible burden that breaks your shoulders and bows
You own, you must get drunk without ceasing.
But what with? With wine, with poetry, or with
Virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.
And if, at some time, on the steps of a palace, in the
Green grass of a ditch, in the bleak solitude of your
Room, you are waking up when the drunkenness has already
Abated, ask the wind, the wave, a star, the clock, all that
Which flees, all that which groans, all that which rolls,
All that which sings, all that which speaks, ask them
What time it is; and the wind the wave, the star, the
Bird, the clock will reply: ‘It is time to get drunk! So that
You may not be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk;
Get drunk and never pause for rest! With wine, with
Poetry, or with virtue, as you choose!

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