STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ poetry THE SWAN Full poem English text




Stéphane Mallarmé

The Swan

(Le Cygne)


French literature, poetry

full text, translation into English



The exile in which the poet is found among men, like a bird that is prevented from flying, has been a recurring theme in nineteenth-century poetry;

an example is the poem “The albatross” by Charles Baudelaire, which you can read on yeyebook by clicking here;

another example is the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé: The swan, below reported with translation of the text in English.

The original text of Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem: The swan (Le Cygne) in French, can be found on yeyebook by clicking here.

In the top or side menu, you can find the full text of Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem: “The Swan” translated into other languages: English, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, etc.

Good reading and good exile …




Stéphane Mallarmé

The Swan


full text, translation into English




The fresh, the beautiful,

vivacious day:

with wing-blow reeling

can its brilliance wake


beneath this haunted,

forgotten and frosted lake

the clear ice-falls

of flights not yet fled away?



In past magnificence

of thoughts today

the swan recaptures

its freedom but cannot make


a song from surroundings,

but only take

on the sterile, dull glint

of the winter’s stay.



Out of white agony

the whole neck lies

in a space inflicted

that the bird denies.


Cold and immobile

in its feathered being,


not in horror of earth

but to brightness gone,

as a dream wrapped in scorn,

and a phantom, seeing


how ineffectual

is exile for the Swan.



Stéphane Mallarmé – The Swan

French literature, poetry

full text, translation into English




Stéphane Mallarmé

All the poems > here




Stéphane Mallarmé

Biography > here


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