Anxiety

Her pure nails sprung up exalting their onyx,
Anxiety, this midnight, bearing light, sustains,
In twilight many dreams burnt up by the Phoenix
Whose scattered ashes no sepulchral urn contains

Atop the sideboards, in the empty room: no ptyx,
That voided toy of vibrant nonsense, left inside,
(Because the Master went to draw the tears from Styx
With that exclusive object wherein Naught takes pride.)

In vacant north seen through the casement frames, a gold
May agonize at times, within the setting, to behold
Fire-breathing unicorns arrayed against a nix,

She, lifeless naked mirror image, repetition
Whom in the twinkling framed forgetting, is to fix
Through sparkling timed in septet, composition.

by Stéphane Mallarmé

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