Charles Cros (October 1 1842 - August 9, 1888) was a French poet and inventor who came close to inventing the phonograph. But for us, he is more well known as an important part of the Paris Bohemian revolution. He was an absinthe drinker and friend of the famous imbiber Paul Verlaine (who almost killed him by pouring sulfuric acid in his drink!). Like many of his contemporaries, he lived fast, drank plenty and died young.
With Flowers, and with Women,
With Absinthe, and with this Fire,
We can divert ourselves a while,
Act out our part in some drama.
Absinthe, on a winter evening,
Lights up in green the sooty soul;
And Flowers, on the beloved,
Grow fragrant before the clear Fire.
Later, kisses lose their charm
Having lasted several seasons;
And after mutual betrayals
We part one day without a tear.
We burn letters and bouquets.
And fire takes our bower;
And if sad life is salvaged
Still there is Absinthe and its hiccups..
The portraits are eaten by flames..
Shrivelled fingers tremble..
We die from sleeping long
With Flowers, and with Women.