sorrow

Take me back, I said, to the happy shore
where Naples reflects its palaces, its hillsides,
and its cloudless stars in a blue sea,
where the orange-tree blooms beneath a sky that is always clear.
Why do you delay? Let us depart! I want to see once again
flaming Vesuvius rising from the bosom of the waves;
from its heights I want to see the dawn rise;
I want to come down those laughing slopes once again in a dream,
guiding the steps of her whom I adore.
Follow me among the windings of this calm bay:
let us return to those shores so well known to our footsteps,
to Cynthia’s gardens, to Virgil’s tomb,
near the scattered ruins of the temple of Venus:
there, beneath the orange-trees, beneath the flowering vine
whose lithe stem is united to the myrtle and weaves a vault of flowers above your head,
there, to the gentle noise of the waves or of the murmuring wind,
alone with our love, alone with nature,
life and light will have more sweetness.

The torch of my paling days burns itself out,
it goes out gradually at the breath of misfortune, or,
if sometimes it throws a faint light,
it is when your memory rekindles it in my breast.
I do not know if at last the gods will allow me to conclude
my wearisome day down here on earth:
my horizon is confined, and my uncertain eye
hardly dares to stretch it beyond a year.
But if I must die in the morning, if,
in a land appointed for happiness,
I must let fall from my hand
this cup which fate seemed to have
crowned with roses for me,
I only ask the gods to guide my steps
to shores made more beautiful by your beloved memory,
to hail from afar those happy climes,
and to die in the places where I tasted life.

Alphonse de Lamartine

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to liberty

…And human life shall seem
Like a short and happy dream
Ere we wake in the daybeam of the skies.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

I do not regret

I do not regret, complain, or weep,
All passes, like smoke off the white apple trees.
Autumn’s gold has me in its withering grip.
I shall never be young again.

My heart has felt the chill,
It no longer beats as it once did.
The birch woods cotton print
No more tempts me to roam barefoot.

Spirit of wandering, less and less
Do you stir my lips’ flame.
Oh, my lost freshness, storminess
Of eye, passion’s flood time.

Oh life, do my desires
Grow tamer, or was it all a dream?
As though, in spring’s echoing early hours,
I had galloped by on a pink steed.

We are all mortal. Silently
The maples spill the copper of their leaves.
May you be blessed for evermore
That you came— to flourish and to die.

Esenin

sesamo

The reflection is
what’s real.
The river
and sky
are doors to take us
to the Eternal.
Down beds of frogs
or beds of bright stars
our love will go off, singing
the morning of the great flight.
The reflection is
what’s real.
Only a heart remains,
only one wind.
Don’t weep!
Near or far,
it’s the same.
Eternal Narcissus,*
Nature’s way.

Federico Garcia Lorca

departure

Everything seen …
The vision gleams in every air.

Everything had …
The far sound of cities, in the evening,
In sunlight, and always.

Everything known …
O Tumult! O Visions! These are the stops of life.

Departure in affection and shining sounds.

Arthur Rimbaud

song with reflection

In the meadow
my heart danced

(a cypress shadow
on the wind)

and a tree unplaited
the dew breeze.
Breeze, silver to the touch!

I said: do you remember?

(The star
the rose
do not concern me.)

Remember?

Lost language!
Language
without horizons!

Remember?

In the meadow
my heart danced

(a cypress shadow
on the wind).

Federico Garcia Lorca

our course

Best of all things is never to be born,
never to know the light of sharp sun.
But being born, then best
to pass quickly as one can through the gates of Hell,
and there lie under the massive shield of earth.

Theognis