Louis Aragon: Elsa At The Mirror (Elsa Au Miroir)

18 August 2018


It was in the very middle of our tragedy
And during a long day seated at her mirror
Combing her golden hair I thought I saw her
With patient hands quenching an incendiary
It was in the very middle of our tragedy

And during a long day seated at her mirror
Combing her golden hair it seemed to me
It was in the very middle of our tragedy
Playing an air on her harp without a tremor
During all that long day seated at her mirror

Combing her golden hair it seemed to me
She was martyring memory at her pleasure
During all that long day seated at her mirror
Reviving the flowers no end to the incendiary
Without saying what another there might seek

She was martyring memory at her pleasure
It was in the very middle of our tragedy
The world resembled that mirror cursedly
The comb divided the fires of silken treasure
And those fires lit the corners of memory

It was in the very middle of our tragedy
As at the week’s heart is set a Thursday

And during a long day seated before memory
She saw them dying far off in her mirror

One by one the actors of our tragedy
Who are the best in this world cursedly

You know their names without hearing them from me
And what flames signify as the nights grow longer

And her hair rendered gold as she seeks to linger
Combing an incendiary reflection wordlessly

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