The Nacreous Oughts

19 June 2008

    Ses purs ongles très haut dédiant leur onyx

Her chaste nails so highly dedicating their onyx,
Anguish, this midnight torchbearer, saves
many an evening's reverie burned with the phoenix
otherwise bound for no crematory vase.
On the sideboards, in the empty parlor: ptyxless,
gewgaw-banned resounding banality
for the Boss is gone to dip tears from the Styx,
only that--and Nothing will thus be honored...
Near the northerly vacant casement, gilt
convulses as per perhaps the setting
from unicorns bucking fire against an elf;
she, late nude of the mirror, however,
into the vacuum by those edges held
abides among twinklings presently the Seven.

--Stéphane Mallarmé (my tr.)

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