Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Shining Hours (I) - Emile Verhaeren

Oh, splendour of our joy and our delight,
Woven of gold amid the silken air!
See the dear house among its gables light,
And the green garden, and the orchard there!

Here is the bench with apple-trees o'er head
Whence the light spring is shed.
With touch of petals falling slow and soft;
Here branches luminous take flight aloft,
Hovering, like some bounteous presage, high
Against this landscape's clear and tender sky.

Here lie, like kisses from the lips dropt down
Of yon frail azur upon earth below,
Two simple, pure, blue pools, and like a crown
About their edge, chance flowers artless grow.

O splendour of our joy and of our ourselves!
Whose life doth feed, within this garden bright,
Upon the emblems of our own delight.

What are those forms that yonder slowly pass?
Our two glad souls are they,
That pastime take, and stray
Along the terraces and woodland grass?

Are these thy breasts, are these thine eyes, these two
Golden-bright flowers of harmonious hue?
These grasses, hanging like some plumage rare.
Bathed in the stream they ruffle by their touch.
Are they the strands of thy smooth, glossy hair?

No shelter e'er could match yon orchard white.
Or yonder house amid its gables light,
And garden, that so blest a sky controls,
Weaving the climate dear to both our souls.

Emile Verhaeren (1855 - 1916) Belgium
Translated by Alma Strettell (1915)
Source: Poems of Emile Verhaeren selected and rendered into English by Alma Strettell (on Project Gutenberg)

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