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Poem of quantity

I think of the sparing puritan sky
of lights solitary and lost
which Emerson would gaze at so many nights
from the snow and rigor of Concord.
Here too many are the stars.
Man is too many. The innumerous
generations of birds and of insects,
of the constellate jaguar and of the serpent,
of branches that weave and interweave,
of coffee, of sand and of leaves
oppress mornings and lavish
their minutial and useless labyrinth.
Perhaps every ant we step on
is unique before God, who precises it
for the execution of the punctual
laws that rule His curious world.
If it were not so, the entire universe
would be an error and an onerous chaos.
Mirrors of ebony and of water,
the inventive mirror of dreams,
lichens, fishes, madrepores,
the ranks of tortoises in time,
the fireflies of a single afternoon,
the dynasties of araucarias,
the profiled letters in a volume
which night does not erase, are without doubt
no less personal and enigmatic
than I, who confound them. I do not dare
to judge leprosy or Caligula.