It was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me?for all these accumulated associations, with whatever is sweet, and honourable, and sublime, there yet lurks an elusive something in the innermost idea of this hue, which strikes more of a panic to the soul than that redness which affrights in blood.
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright: at the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
When the sad sun sinks, It shall pierce through the body of wax till it shrinks! No sunset, but the red awakening Of the last day concluding everything Struggles so sadly that time disappears, The redness of apocalypse, whose tears Fall on the child, exiled to her own proud Heart, as the swan makes its plumage a shroud For its eyes, the old swan, and is carried away From the plumage of grief to the eternal highway Of its hopes, where it looks on the diamonds divine Of a moribund star, which never more shall shine!stéphane mallarmé
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