Renée Vivien, born Pauline Mary Tarn (June 11, 1877 – November 18, 1909), was a British poet who wrote in the French language.
She took to heart all the mannerisms of Symbolism, as one of the last poets to claim allegiance to the school. Her compositions include sonnets, hendecasyllabic verse, and prose poetry.
PROLONG THE NIGHT
Prolong the night, Goddess who sets us aflame!
Hold back from us the golden-sandalled dawn!
Already on the sea the first faint gleam
Of day is coming on.
Sleeping under your veils, protect us yet,
Having forgotten the cruelty day may give!
The wine of darkness, wine of the stars let
Overwhelm us with love!
Since no one knows what dawn will come,
Bearing the dismal future with its sorrows
In its hands, we tremble at full day, our dream
Fears all tomorrows.
Oh! keeping our hands on our still-closed eyes,
Let us vainly recall the joys that take flight!
Goddess who delights in the ruin of the rose,
Prolong the night!
My brunette with the golden eyes, your ivory body, your amber
Has left bright reflections in the room
Above the garden.
The clear midnight sky, under my closed lids,
Still shines….I am drunk from so many roses
Redder than wine.
Leaving their garden, the roses have followed me….
I drink their brief breath, I breathe their life.
All of them are here.
It’s a miracle….The stars have risen,
Hastily, across the wide windows
Where the melted gold pours.
Now, among the roses and the stars,
You, here in my room, loosening your robe,
And your nakedness glistens
Your unspeakable gaze rests on my eyes….
Without stars and without flowers, I dream the impossible
In the cold night.