by Stéphane Mallarmé (1842 - 1898)
Translation © by Peter Low

Surgi de la croupe et du bond
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG
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.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

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]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 70

Rising up from its bulge and stem
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
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.


  • 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.

Based on


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