Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Shining Hours (XXI) - Emile Verhaeren

In hours like these, when through our dream of bliss
So far from all things not ourselves we move,
What lustral blood, what baptism is this
That bathes our hearts, straining toward perfect love?

Our hands are clasped, and yet there is no prayer,
Our arms outstretched, and yet no cry is there;
Adoring something, what, we cannot say.
More pure than we are and more far away,
With spirit fervent and most guileless grown,
How we are mingled and dissolved in one;
Ah, how we live each other, in the unknown!

Oh, how absorbed and wholly lost before
The presence of those hours supreme one lies!
And how the soul would fain find other skies
To seek therein new gods it might adore;
Oh, marvellous and agonizing joy,
Audacious hope whereon the spirit hangs,
         Of being one day
         Once more the prey,
Beyond even death, of these deep, silent pangs.

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

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