A livid angel like an eagle stooped
And haled the disbeliever by the hair:
“You’ll learn the rules!” he cried. “I’ll not be duped
(Not I, who have your Conscience in my care)!

Learn to hold dear, without making a face,
The leper, hunchback, fool and pharisee,
That Jesus, with triumphant feet, may grace
The divine carpet of your charity.

Such is Love! Give your flame a second start;
In God’s glory revitalize your heart,
The only true and durable Delight!”

The angel, then, with demiurgic ardor
Pummeled the sinner hard, and pummeled harder
Who clamored still, “I won’t!” with all his might.

—Charles Beaudelaire
Translated by Paul Francis