When Boredom Gnaws Your Soul

When boredom gnaws your soul, you back-street whore,
You have the world lined up at your door,
The better to obey the jungle's law:
One heart per day, to exercise your jaw!
Your eyes shine bright to advertise your wares,
Like colored lights strung up at country fairs.
What arrogance, to have at your command
A power whose use you cannot understand.

You are the cruel mistress of misrule,
A leech, a blind machine, a useful tool.
How can you show no shame, or see no sign,
When every mirror mimics your decline?
The meaning of this evil you must do -
Hasn't it ever once occurred to you
That nature uses it for her own ends?
Through you - an animal, a queen of sins -
Creates her geniuses from human slime?
Disgusting majesty! dunghill sublime!

- Charles Pierre Baudelaire (1821-1867)