the Enemy

The skies held angry clouds when I was young,
Shot through from time to time with sudden sun;
My garden has raked by rain so long
It’s barren of the fruit it might have borne.

Now autumn’s come, and harvest time again.
I must reclaim my solitary grove.
All that I should have reaped and gleaned is gone;
Tidewaters washed it all into the grave.

In such sick soil, eroded by the brine,
What mystic aliment for seeds like mine?
Can flowers from dream burst into bloom?

And how much human life can Time consume?
The Enemy within keeps growing fat
On lifeblood that it leeches from the heart!

- Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)