Little Air

I

Any solitude
Without a swan or quai
Mirrors its disuse
In the look I abdicate

Here from that pride’s excess
Too high to enfold
In which many a sky paints itself
With the twilight’s gold

But languorously flows beside
Like white linen laid aside
Such fleeting birds as dive
Exultantly at my side

Into the wave made you
Your exultation nude.

II


Unconquerably there must
As my hope hurls itself free
Burst on high and lost
In silence and in fury

A voice alien to the wood
Or followed by no echo,
The bird one never could
Hear again in life below.

The wild musician,
The one that in doubt expires
If not from his breast but mine
Has spurted the sob more dire

Utterly torn apart will he
Lie on some path beneath?

by Stéphane Mallarmé

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