Tomb (Of Verlaine)

Anniversary – January 1897

The black rock enraged that the north wind rolls it on
Will not stop itself, nor, under pious hands, still
Cease testing its resemblance to human ill
As if to bless some fatal cast of bronze.

Here nearly always if the ring-dove coos
This immaterial grief with many a fold of cloud
Crushes the ripe star of tomorrows, whose crowd
Will be silvered by its scintillations. Who

Following the solitary leap
External now of our vagabond – seeks
Verlaine? He’s hidden in the grass, Verlaine

Only to catch, naïvely, not drying it with his breath
And without the lip drinking there, at peace again,
A shallow stream that’s slandered, and named Death.

by Stéphane Mallarmé

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