Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Shining Hours (III) - Emile Verhaeren

This barbaric capital, whereon monsters writhe,
soldered together by the might of claw and tooth,
in a mad whirl of blood, of fiery cries, of wounds,
and of jaws that bite and bite again,

This was myself before you were mine,
you who are new and old, and who,
from the depths of your eternity,
came to me with passion and kindness in your hands.

I feel the same deep, deep things sleeping in you as in me,
and our thirst for remembrance drink up the echo in which our pasts answer each to each.
Our eyes must have wept at the same hours, without our knowing, during childhood,
have had the same terrors, the same happinesses, the same flashes of trust;

For I am bound to you by the unknown that watched me of old
down the avenues through which my adventurous life passed;
and, indeed, if I had looked more closely,
I might have seen, long ago, within its eyes your own eyes open.

Emile Verhaeren (1855 - 1916) Belgium
Translated by F.S. Flint (1916)

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