O mother, darling mother, lost in time’s formless haze
Amidst the leaves’ sweet rustle you call my name always;
Amidst their fluttering murmur above your sacred grave
I hear you softly whisper whenever the branches wave;
While over your tomb the willows their autumn raiment heap…
Forever wave the branches and you forever sleep.
When l shall die, beloved, do not beside me mourn,
But break a branch of blossom that does the lime adorn,
And take it very softly, and plant it at my head;
I’ll feel its shadow growing as on the soil it’s shed;
And watered by the tears that you for sorrow weep…
Forever grow that shadow, and l for ever sleep.
Eve on the hill
Dreary the horn sounds in the eve on the hill,
Sheepflocks return, stars on their way twinkle still,
Watersprings weep murmuring clear, and I see
Under a tree, love, thou art waiting for me.
Holy and pure passes the moon on the sky,
Moist seem the stars born from the vault clear and high,
Longing thine eyes look from afar to divine,
Heaving thy breast, pensive thy head doth recline.
Tired with their toil, peasants come back from the field,
From the old church, labourer’s comfort and shield,
Voices of bells thrill the whole sky high above;
Struck is my heart, trembling and burning with love.
Ah! very soon quietness steals over all,
Ah! very soon hasten shall I to thy call,
Under the tree, there I shall sit the whole night,
Telling thee, love, thou art my only delight.
Cheek press’d to cheek, there in sweet ecstasy we,
Falling asleep under the old locust-tree,
Smiling in dream, seem in a heaven to live,
For such a night who his whole life would not give?
(1885, Translated by P. Grimm)
And should it be together that we shall die one day,
They shall not in some cemetery our separate bodies lay,
But let them dig a grave near where the river flows
And in a single coffin them both together close;
That l to time eternal my love beside me keep…
Forever wails the water, and we for ever sleep.
“O remain, dear one, I love you,
Stay with me in my fair land,
For your dreamings and your longings
Only I can understand.
You, who like a prince reclining
Over the pool with heaven starred;
You who gaze up from the water
With such earnest deep regard.
Stay, for where the lapping wavelets
Shake the tall and tasseled grass,
I will make you hear in secret
How the furtive chamois pass.
Oh, I see you wrapped in magic,
Hear your murmur low and sweet,
As you break the shallow water
With your slender naked feet;
See you thus amidst the ripples
Which the moon´s pale beams engage,
And your years seem but an instant,
And each instant seems an age.”
Thus spoke the woods in soft entreaty;
Arching boughs above me bent,
But I whistled high, and laughing
Out into the open went.
Now though even I roamed that country
How could I its charm recall …
Where has boyhood gone, I wonder,
With its pool and woods and all ?
(Translated from Romanian by Corneliu M. Popescu)