The flesh is sad, alas, and there’s nothing but words!
To take flight, far off! I sense that somewhere the birds
Are drunk to be amid strange spray and skies.
Nothing, not the old gardens reflected in the eyes,
Can now restrain this sea-drenched heart, O night,
Nor the lone splendour of my lamp on the white
Paper which the void leaves undefiled,
Nor the young mother suckling her child.
Steamer with gently swaying masts, depart!
Weigh anchor for a landscape of the heart!
Boredom made desolate by hope’s cruel spells
Retains its faith in ultimate farewells!
And maybe the masts are such as are inclined
To shipwreck driven by tempestuous wind.
No fertile isle, no spar on which to cling…
But on, my heart, listen to the sailors sing!
Stéphane Mallarmé (1842 – 1898) France