Sonnet: ‘ses Purs Ongles Très Haut…’

Her pure nails on high dedicating their onyx,
Anguish, at midnight, supports a lamp-holder,
Many a twilight dream burnt by the Phoenix
That won’t be collected by the ashes’ amphora

On tables, in the empty room: no wrinkles here,
Trinkets abolished of sonorous uselessness,
(Since the Master has gone to draw Stygian tears
With the only purpose that honours Nothingness).

But near the casement wide to the north,
A gold is dying in accord with the décor
Perhaps, of unicorns dashing fire at a nixie,

She who, naked and dead in the mirror, yet
In the oblivion enclosed by the frame, is fixed
By scintillations as soon as the septet.

by Stéphane Mallarmé

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