Poetry Tuesday: Virginal, Vivid, Beautiful

By Stephane Mallarme, some time in the late 1800s.

Virginal, vivid, beautiful, will this be
The day that shatters with a drunken wing
The lake beneath the frost, still mirroring
Flights that were never made, transparency?

A swan of old remembers that it is he,
Superb but helpless, for he would not sing
Of regions where life still was beckoning
When winter spread its sterile, cold ennui.

His whole neck shakes off the white agony
Inflicted by the space he would deny,
But not the earth that grips him horribly.

Phantom, that with pure brilliance lives on,
He lies immobile, dreaming scornfully,
Such dreams as in his exile clothe the Swan.


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