Thursday, 12 May 2016

The King of Noon and the Lord of Bells - Carl Spitteler

The forest opens wide its spacious leafy gate
And through, on puissant steed, the Noon King rides in state.
At the brave sight the sun slackens his proud career,
The mountains stretch their necks, the massy clouds uprear,
Waving their streaming flags athwart the azure dome.

But, lo, the Lord of Bells, from out his airy home,
Alert his sovereign liege with honor due to greet,
Spreads out a carpet of soft sounds before his feet.
The Midday King rides up the ramparts wov'n of air,
Shading his dazzled eyes from sunlight's blinding glare.
And what his path? The swirling waves of billowy sound.
The throbbing ether waits, in sultry silence bound.

The steeds triumphant neigh, as lord meets noble lord,
And each the other hails, in brotherly accord
Upon the battlements. Then side by side they make their round
Mid wind of banners blown and storm of clangorous sound,
While far below the web of earthly life is spun -
The workaday has now right royally begun!

Carl Spitteler (1845 — 1924) Switzerland
Translated by Ethel Colburn Mayne

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