Stéphane Mallarmé

(1842-1898 / France)

Sonnet: ‘Victorieusement fui le suicide…’


Victoriously the grand suicide fled
Foaming blood, brand of glory, gold, tempest!
O laughter if only to royally invest
My absent tomb purple, down there, is spread.

What! Not even a fragment of all that brightness
Remains: it’s midnight, in the shade that fetes us,
Except from the head there’s a treasure, presumptuous,
That pours without light its spoiled languidness,

Yours, always such a delight! Yours, yes,
Retaining alone of the vanished sky, this
Bit of childish triumph as you spread each tress,

Gleaming as you show it against the pillows,
Like the helmet of war of a child-empress
From which, to denote you, would pour down roses.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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