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Old 04-03-2021, 05:48 PM   #1
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Saltus, Francis S.: Flasks and Flagons. v1.0. 03 Apr 2021

Francis Saltus Saltus (1849-1889), American decadent poet influenced by Baudelaire.

This version was based on a scanned book at the Internet Archive, published in 1892.

Absinthe

Whence comes thy fatal, fascinating charm?
Thy fumes are sharp, dire as Medusa’s tears,
In thy green depths a tempting demon leers,
Leading the victim on without alarm.

Thy trait’rous poison makes the senses warm;
Dull minds, grown vivid, grasp the distant spheres;
But ah, the sad reaction, when the tears
Of madness flow, when maniac fancies swarm!

To me, thy glorious Lethe ever shows
Some godless wretch, with haggard eyes and pale,
Seeking the shame of brutal bagnios.
Or, mixed with powder, when all else doth fail,
I see thee make impetuous Zouaves scale
Stern Malakoffs that teem with countless foes!
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