The snow-white Olympic swan,
with beak of rose-red agate,
preens his eucharistic wing,
which he opens to the sun like a fan.
His shining neck is curved
like the arm of a lyre,
like the handle of a Greek amphora,
like the prow of a ship.
He is the swan of divine origin
whose kiss mounted through fields
of silk to the rosy peaks
of Leda’s sweet hills.
White king of Castalia’s fount,
his triumph illumines the Danube;
Da Vinci was his baron in Italy;
Lohengrin is his blond prince.
His whiteness is akin to linen,
to the buds of white roses,
to the diamantine white
of the fleece of an Easter lamb.
He is the poet of perfect verses,
and his lyric cloak is of ermine;
he is the magic, the regal bird
who, dying, rhymes the soul in his song.
This winged aristocrat displays
white lilies on a blue field;
and Pompadour, gracious and lovely,
has stroked hs feathers.
He rows and rows on the lake
where dreams wait for the unhappy,
where a golden gondola waits
for the sweetheart of Louis of Bavaria.
Countess, give the swans your love,
for they are gods of an alluring land
and are made of perfume and ermine,
of white light, of silk, and of dreams.