Owls (Baudelaire) Beneath the shades of sombre yews, The silent owls sit ranged in rows, Like ancient idols, strangely pose, And darting fiery eyes, they muse. Immovable, they sit and gaze, Until the melancholy hour, At which the darknesses devour The faded sunset's slanting rays. Their attitude, instructs the wise, That he within this world who flies From tumult and from merriment ; The man allured by a passing face, For ever bears the chastisement Of having wished to change his place.
Poem from Baudelaire’s ‘Flowers of Evil’ 1845 tr. James Mc Gowan