Stéphane Mallarmé

(1842-1898 / France)

The Tomb of Edgar Allan Poe


Such as at last eternity transforms into Himself,
The Poet rouses with two-edged naked sword,
His century terrified at having ignored
Death triumphant in so strange a voice!

They, like a spasm of the Hydra, hearing the angel
Once grant a purer sense to the words of the tribe,
Loudly proclaimed it a magic potion, imbibed
From some tidal brew black, and dishonourable.

From soil, and hostile cloud, O grief,
If our imagination can’t carve a bas-relief
With which to deck Poe’s dazzling sepulchre,

Calm block fallen here from some dark disaster,
Let your granite at least mark a boundary forever
To dark flights of Blasphemy scattered in the future.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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