Stéphane Mallarmé

(1842-1898 / France)

A Toast


Nothing, this foam, virgin verse
Depicting the chalice alone:
Far off a band of Sirens drown
Many of them head first.

We sail, O my various
Friends, I already at the stern,
You at the lavish prow that churns
The lightning’s and the winters’ flood:

A sweet intoxication urges me
Despite pitching, tossing, fearlessly
To offer this toast while standing

Solitude, reef, and starry veil
To whatever’s worthy of knowing
The white anxiety of our sail.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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