A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields/The Swan (Sully Prudhomme)

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Where, like a mirror, spreads the glorious lake
Profound and calm, behold the swan awake
A noiseless ripple, as serene she glides!
How beautiful the down upon her sides!
It seems its dazzling whiteness to have won
From April's snows bright-flashing in the sun;
But of a duller white appears the wing
That vibrates in the mild breath of the spring,
Proud of its strength. Above the tangled reeds
She lifts her neck, then plunges it, and feeds,
Then lengthens it upon the wave, then swerves,
Arching its outline in acanthus curves
Where are the line of beauty she preserves.
Now in her shining silver throat or breast
Her ebon beak, half-hidden, is at rest;
Now moves she under pines of sombre shade
Where Peace and Silence have pavilions made;
Now winds, abandoning the herbs, her fare
That trail behind like thick and glossy hair,
With languid movements, graceful, stately, slow,
To any goal where fancy bids her go.
The grotto where the poet loves to dream,
And hears high mysteries in evening's gleam,
The fount that mourns one absent or at rest

With an eternal murmur, please her best;
Here, while she moves or lingers by the hour,
Perchance a willow leaf, or faded flower,
Drops on her shoulder in the shadow dim;
Sometimes from woods obscure, away to swim
She feels a pleasure, then superb and grand
She rides into the open, far from land;
Her own white purity better to admire,
She chooses just the spot that seems on fire
Beneath the sun's fierce, red, and blinding rays;
There, incandescent, like a ship she sways,
Then, when the water's edge no more is seen
At twilight's Witching hour, and all between
Are spectral vapours, lines confused, and shapes
Chaotic, and in black the blue sky drapes,
Save in one point of the horizon, whence
Shoots forth a long, long streak of red intense;
Then, when no reeds, no waterlilies stir,
And birds commence their songs upon the fir
Far, far away, and glow-worms light their spark
Beneath the moon just rising in the dark;
Then, when the lake more deep, more sombre, shows
A sky beneath, dark-violet, where glows
The milky way, the splendour of each star,
And all that meets the gaze above, afar;
Like a bright silver vase 'mid diamonds strown,
With her head buried in her wings, alone,
She sleeps, between two firmaments dim-seen,
A queen of beauty, Nature's chosen queen.