Treasure Island

Stéphane Mallarmé

(1842-1898 / France)

Funeral Libation (At Gautier’s Tomb)


To you, gone emblem of our happiness!
Greetings, in pale libation and madness,
Don’t think to some hope of magic corridors I offer
My empty cup, where a monster of gold suffers!
Your apparition cannot satisfy me:
Since I myself entombed you in porphyry.
The rite decrees our hands must quench the torch
Against the iron mass of your tomb’s porch:
None at this simple ceremony should forget,
Those chosen to sing the absence of the poet,
That this monument encloses him entire.
Were it not that his art’s glory, full of fire
Till the dark communal moment all of ash,
Returns as proud evening’s glow lights the glass,
To the fires of the pure mortal sun!

Marvellous, total, solitary, so that one
Trembles to breathe with man’s false pride.
This haggard crowd! ‘We are’, it cries,
‘Our future ghosts, their sad opacity.’
But with walls blazoned, mourning, empty,
I’ve scorned the lucid horror of a tear,
When, deaf to the sacred verse he does not fear,
One of those passers-by, mute, blind, proud,
Transmutes himself, a guest in his vague shroud,
Into the virgin hero of posthumous waiting.
A vast void carried through the fog’s drifting,
By the angry wind of words he did not say,
Nothing, to this Man abolished yesterday:
‘What is Earth, O you, memories of horizons?’
Shrieks the dream: and, a voice whose clarity lessens,
Space, has for its toy this cry: ‘I do not know!’

The Master, with eye profound, as he goes,
Pacified the restless miracle of Eden,
Who alone woke, in his voice’s final frisson,
The mystery of a name for the Lily and the Rose.
Is there anything of this destiny left, or no?
O all of you, forget your darkened faith.
Glorious, eternal genius has no shade.
I, moved by your desire, wish to see
Him, who vanished yesterday in the Ideal
Work that for us the garden of this star creates,
As a solemn agitation in the air, that stays
Honouring this quiet disaster, a stir
Of words, drunken, red, a cup that’s clear,
That, rain and diamonds, the crystal gaze
Fixed on these flowers of which none fade,
Isolates in the hour and the light of day!

That’s all that’s left already of our true play,
When the pure poet’s gesture, humble, vast
Must deny the dream, the enemy of his trust:
So that, on the morning of his exalted stay,
When ancient death is for him as for Gautier,
The un-opening of sacred eyes, the being-still,
The solid tomb may rise, and ornament this hill,
The sepulchre where lies the power to blight,
And miserly silence and the massive night.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Funeral Libation (At Gautier’s Tomb) by Stéphane Mallarmé )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Just For the Record, Joyce Sutphen
  2. lonely wanderer, The lonely wanderer
  3. The day my angel died, whole world cried, The lonely wanderer
  4. the day I get to call you mine, The lonely wanderer
  5. No goal, hasmukh amathalal
  6. gud bye my love, The lonely wanderer
  7. गोरबो इसिँनिफ्राइ- 77, Ronjoy Brahma
  8. Ordinary Goddess, GRANT FRASER
  9. u and I are never alike, The lonely wanderer
  10. Truth and non-violence, gajanan mishra

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Lawson


The old year went, and the new returned, in the withering weeks of drought,
The cheque was spent that the shearer earned,
and the sheds were all cut out;
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]