The Castle of Hope

from Mallarmé

Your pale hair undulates
in the perfume from your skin
the way a white flag frolics
its silk showing blond in the sun.

Tired of beating time in tears
on a drum that is warped by the water,
my heart renounces its past
and, rolling out your hair in waves,

marches to the assault, climbs,— or rolls drunkenly
through mires of blood, in order
to plant that banner of fine gold
on a sombre copper castle

— where, whimpering with listlessness,
Hope ruffles up and smooths
without a single pallid star arising
Night black as a black cat.

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