Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Poem’s Gift - Stéphane Mallarmé

I bring you the child of an Idumean night!
Black, with pale naked bleeding wings, Light
Through the glass, burnished with gold and spice,
Through panes, still dismal, alas, and cold as ice,
Hurled itself, daybreak, against the angelic lamp.
Palm-leaves! And when it showed this relic, damp,
To that father attempting an inimical smile,
The solitude shuddered, azure, sterile.
O lullaby, with your daughter, and the innocence
Of your cold feet, greet a terrible new being:
A voice where harpsichords and viols linger,
Will you press that breast, with your withered finger,
From which Woman flows in Sibylline whiteness to
Those lips starved by the air’s virgin blue?

Stéphane Mallarmé (1842 – 1898) France
Translated by A.S. Kline

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