Before I drink myself to death, God, let me finish up my Book! At night, I fear, I fight for breath, And wake up whiter than a spook; And crawl off to a bistro near, And drink until my brain is clear.
Rare Absinthe! Oh, it gives me strength To write and write; and so I spend Day after day, until at length With joy and pain I'll write The End: Then let this carcase rot; I give The world my Book -- my Book will live.
For every line is tense with truth, There's hope and joy on every page; A cheer, a clarion call to Youth, A hymn, a comforter to Age: All's there that I was meant to be, My part divine, the God in me.
It's of my life the golden sum; Ah! who that reads this Book of mine, In stormy centuries to come, Will dream I rooted with the swine? Behold! I give mankind my best: What does it matter, all the rest?
It's this that makes sublime my day; It's this that makes me struggle on. Oh, let them mock my mortal clay, My spirit's deathless as the dawn; Oh, let them shudder as they look . . . I'll be immortal in my Book.
And so beside the sullen Seine I fight with dogs for filthy food, Yet know that from my sin and pain Will soar serene a Something Good; Exultantly from shame and wrong A Right, a Glory and a Song.