Be Drunk
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet
translated by Arthur Symons (1865-1945), British poet

Be always drunk. Nothing else matters: that is the only question. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and crushing you to the earth, be drunk continually.

Drunk with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will. But be drunk.

And if sometimes, on the stairs of a palace, or on the green side of a ditch, or in the dreary solitude of your own room, you should awaken and the drunkenness be half or wholly slipped away from you, ask of the wind, or of the wave, or of the star, or of the bird, or of the clock, of whatever flies, or sighs, or rocks, or sings, or speaks, ask what hour it is; and the wind, wave, star, bird, clock, will answer you: "It is the hour to be drunk! Be drunk, if you would not be martyred slaves of Time; be drunk continually! With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will."

from Baudelaire: His Prose and Poetry (1919)

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