Three Poems by Stéphane Mallarmé

Song Cycle by Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)

Word count: 299
Original language: Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé
Mon âme vers ton front où rêve, ô calme sœur,
Un automne jonché de taches de rousseur,
Et vers le ciel errant de ton œil angélique
Monte, comme dans un jardin mélancolique,
Fidèle, un blanc jet d'eau soupire vers l'Azur !
-- Vers l'azur attendri d'octobre pâle et pur
Qui mire aux grands bassins sa langueur infinie
Et laisse, sur l'eau morte où la fauve agonie
Des feuilles erre au vent et creuse un froid sillon,
Se trainer le soleil jaune d'un long rayon.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Sospir", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Nicolas Gounin) , "Sigh", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Huokaus", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

First published in Le Parnasse contemporain, May 12, 1866.


Researcher for this text: Nicolas Gounin [Guest Editor]
by Stéphane Mallarmé (1842 - 1898)
1. Sigh
My soul rises towards your brow o calm sister, where there lies dreaming
An autumn strewn with russet freckles,
And towards the restless sky of your angelic eye,
As in a melancholy garden,
A white fountain faithfully sighs towards the Azure!
Towards the compassionate azure of pale and pure October,
Which mirrors its infinite languor in the great pools
And, on the stagnant water where the tawny agony
Of the leaves stirs in the wind and digs a cold furrow,
Lets the yellow sun drag itself out in a long ray.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Nicolas Gounin, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
    Contact: 

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 10
Word count: 91

Translation © by Nicolas Gounin
2. Placet futile [sung text checked 1 time]
Princesse ! à jalouser le destin d'une Hébé
Qui poind sur cette tasse au baiser de vos lèvres,
J'use mes feux mais n'ai rang discret que d'abbé
Et ne figurerai même nu sur le Sèvres.

Comme je ne suis pas ton bichon embarbé,
Ni la pastille ni du rouge, ni Jeux mièvres
Et que sur moi je sais ton regard clos tombé,
Blonde dont les coiffeurs divins sont des orfèvres !

Nommez-nous... toi de qui tant de ris framboisés
Se joignent en troupeau d'agneaux apprivoisés
Chez tous broutant les vœux et bêlant aux délires,

Nommez-nous... pour qu'Amour ailé d'un éventail
M'y peigne flûte aux doigts endormant ce bercail,
Princesse, nommez-nous berger de vos sourires.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Fútil súplica", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Nicolas Gounin) , "Futile Petition", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Tolkuton anomus", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Confirmed with Stéphane Mallarmé, Collected Poems and Other Verse, Oxford University Press, 2008, page 8.


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Nicolas Gounin [Guest Editor]
by Stéphane Mallarmé (1842 - 1898)
2. Futile Petition
Princess! in envying the fate of a Hebe,
Who appears on this cup at the kiss of your lips,
I use up my ardor, but my modest station is only that of abbé
And I won't even appear nude on the Sévres porcelain.

Since I am not your bewhiskered lapdog,
Nor lozenge, nor rouge, nor affected games,
And since I know that you look on me with indifferent eyesy
Blonde whose divine hairdressers are goldsmiths!

Appoint me ... you whose many raspberried laughs
Are gathered into flocks of docile lambs,
Nibbling at all vows and bleating deliriously,

Appoint me ... in order that Love, with a fan as his wings,
May paint me fingering a flute and lulling this sheepfold,
Princess, appoint me shepherd of your smiles.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Nicolas Gounin, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
    Contact: 

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 127

Translation © by Nicolas Gounin
3. Surgi de la croupe et du bond [sung text checked 1 time]
Surgi de la croupe et du bond
D'une verrerie éphémère
Sans fleurir la veillée amère
Le col ignoré s'interrompt.

Je crois bien que deux bouches n'ont
Bu, ni son amant ni ma mère,
Jamais à la même chimère,
Moi, sylphe de ce froid plafond!

Le pur vase d'aucun breuvage
Que l'inexhaustible veuvage
Agonise mais ne consent,

Naïf baiser des plus funèbres!
À rien expirer annonçant
Une rose dans les ténèbres.

Authorship

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Sorgit de la gropa i del saltant", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "Rising up from its bulge and stem", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Stéphane Mallarmé (1842 - 1898)
3. Rising up from its bulge and stem
Rising up from its bulge and stem
of fragile glassware
- with no flowers to crown its bitter vigil -
the vase's neglected neck stops short.

I do believe the mouths
of my mother and her lover
never drank from the same love-cup
(I, sylph of this cold ceiling).

The vase untouched by any drink
except eternal widowhood
is dying yet never consents

-  oh naïve funereal kiss! -
to breathe out anything that might herald
a rose in the darkness.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2012 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
    Contact: 

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2012-03-29
Line count: 14
Word count: 81

Translation © by Peter Low