Friday, 13 April 2018

Night-fall - Joaõ Xavier de Matos

The sun has set, with duskiest shades imbued
  The lingering daylight slowly dies away,
  And Night’s dark fingers have already strewed
  The air with cheerless clouds, opaque and gray;
And scarce discern I where my cottage stands,
  And scarce the beech from rueful cypress know;
  ’Tis silence all, save that upon the sands
  The distant waters moan and murmur low.
Languid I scan the wastes of dreary air,
  A deadly grief sits heavy on my soul,
  Unbidden tears hang quivering in my eyes,
And I could pray, if I might breathe a prayer,
  That night’s dull car might never cease to roll,
  And sunbeam never more illume the skies.

Joaõ Xavier de Matos (c. 1730/5 — 1789) Portugal
Translated by Richard Garnett
Source: The Sonnets of Europe, ed. by Samuel Waddington. London: Walter Scott, 1888

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