Ah, many the long night thou and I
Have passed at ease with the wine-crowned cup,
Till the red dawn gleamed in the night-dim sky
And the stars of morn in the east rose up,
And along the west the stars of night
Like defeated armies pressed their flight.
Then the brightest of joys were ours to gain.
With never a care in the world to cloud,
And pleasure untouched by the hand of pain,
Were delight with eternal life endowed:
But alas! that even the fairest boon
Is doomed, like night, to be spent too soon.
The sky at summer’s coming dons a cloak of dust
stirred up by wind to form a parasol
for keeping off the heat from earth.
The bees fly not as hitherto forthwith
to drink the nectar of the coral tree,
for they doubt its flower may be forest fire.
Sun, your phosphorescent rays
pin fire across the eternal firmament.
Snap a far-hunting arrow against our enemies,
O careering Healer to whom we cry!
The wind blows from the North.
He looks and his eyes are cold.
He looks and smiles and then goes forth,
My grief grows old.
The wind blows and the dust.
To-morrow he swears he will come.
His words are kind, but he breaks his trust,
My heart is numb.
All day the wind blew strong,
The sun was buried deep.
I have thought of him so long, so long,
I cannot sleep.
The clouds are black with night,
The thunder brings no rain,
I wake and there is no light,
I bear my pain.
Zeus bought Danaë with golden rain
and I purchase you with a gold coin.
I can’t, after all, pay more than Zeus.
When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
To depart while seated or standing is all one.
All I shall leave behind me
Is a heap of bones.
In empty space I twist and soar
And come down with the roar of thunder
To the sea.