Thursday, 25 June 2015

The Lattice Gate - Bertel Gripenberg

You call a sonnet poets’ vain self-esteem,
That mingles emptiness with glittered rhyming,
But locks life within narrow walls, confining,
Extinguishes the hearth-flames of the dream.

A tracework gate that ends the wanderer’s road —
The sonnet; but a blossomed bough is hanging
Above the wall, and through the gate comes thronging
A far-off murmur from a far-off world.

‘Thus far, no further,’ softly the wind whispers.
So stop here, wanderer, by the gold gate’s lattice.
You’ve seen enough, no more’s vouchsafed to you.

Outside that portal which, never opened, rumbles,
You may give ear to muted song that trembles
With greetings from that world you’ll never view.

Bertel Gripenberg (1878 - 1947) Finland
Translated by David McDuff

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