The buried temple empties through its bowels,
Sepulchral sewer spewing mud and rubies,
Abominably some idol of Anubis,
Its muzzle all aflame with savage howls.
Or if the recent gas the wick befouls
That bears so many insults, it illumines
In haggard outline an immortal pubis
Flying along the streetlights on its prowls.
What wreaths dried out in cities without prayer
Of night could bless like that which settles down
Vainly against the marble of Baudelaire
In the fluttering veil that girds her absence round,
A tutelary poison, his own Wraith,
We breathe in always though it bring us death.
Stéphane Mallarmé, "The Tomb of Charles Baudelaire" from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by Stéphane Mallarmé. Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.
Source: Collected Poems (University of California Press, 1994)
Poems by Stéphane Mallarmé