And all that fills the hearts of friends, When first they feel, with secret pain, Their lives thenceforth have separate ends, And never can be one again;

The first slight swerving of the heart,
That words are powerless to express,

And leave it still unsaid in part,
Or say it in too great excess.

The very tones in which we spake
Had something strange, I could but mark;
The leaves of memory seemed to make
A mournful rustling in the dark.

Oft died the words upon our lips,
As suddenly, from out the fire.

Built of the wrecks of stranded ships,

The flames would leap and then expire.

And, as their splendor flashed and failed,
We thought of wrecks upon the main,
Of ships dismasted, that were hailed
And sent no answer back again.

The windows, rattling in their frames, -
The ocean, roaring up the beach,
The gusty blast, the bickering flames,-
All mingled vaguely in our speech;

Until they made themselves a part
Of fancies floating through the brain,·
The long-lost ventures of the heart,
That send no answers back again.

O flames that glowed! O hearts that yearned! They were indeed too much akin,

The drift-wood fire without that burned,

The thoughts that burned and glowed within.



We sat by the fisher's cottage,
We looked on sea and sky,
We saw the mists of evening
Come riding and rolling by:

The lights in the light-house window
Brighter and brighter grew,

And on the dim horizon

A ship still hung in view.

We spoke of storm and shipwreck,
Of the seaman's anxious life;
How he floats 'twixt sky and water,
"Twixt joy and sorrow's strife:

We spoke of coasts far distant,
We spoke of south and north,
Strange men, and stranger customs,
That those wild lands send forth:

Of the giant trees of Ganges,
Whose balm perfumes the breeze;
And the fair and slender creatures,
That kneel by the lotus-trees.

The maidens listened earnestly,
At last the tales were ended;
The ship was gone, the dusky night
Had on our talk descended.

From the German of HEINE.


THE latest light of evening

Upon the waters shone,

And still we sat in the lonely hut,

In silence and alone.

The sea-fog grew, the screaming mew

Rose on the water's swell, And silently in her gentle eye Gathered the tears and fell.

I saw them stand on the lily hand,

Upon my knee I sank,

And, kneeling there, from her fingers fair

The precious dew I drank.

And sense and power, since that sad hour,

In longing waste away;

Ah me! I fear, in each witching tear

Some subtle poison lay.

From the German of HEINE.


THE twilight is sad and cloudy,
The wind blows wild and free,
And like the wings of sea-birds
Flash the white caps of the sea.

But in the fisherman's cottage
There shines a ruddier light,
And a little face at the window
Peers out into the night.

Close, close it is pressed to the window,
As if those childish eyes

Were looking into the darkness,
To see some form arise.

And a woman's waving shadow
Is passing to and fro,

Now rising to the ceiling,

Now bowing and bending low.

« ElőzőTovább »