I saw i’ the shadow
A flower stand there;
As stars it glisten’d,
As eyes ’twas fair.
I sought to pluck it,—
It gently said:
“Shall I be gather’d
Only to fade?”
With all its roots
I dug it with care,
And took it home
To my garden fair.
In silent corner
Soon it was set;
There grows it ever,
There blooms it yet.
Locks of brown, still bind your captive
In the circle of her face!
I, beloved sinuous tresses,
Naught possess that’s worth your grace—
But a heart whose love enduring
Swells in youthful fervor yet:
Snow and mists envelop Etna,
Making men the fire forget.
Yonder mountain’s pride so stately
Thou dost shame like dawn’s red glow;
And its spell once more bids Hatem
Thrill of spring and summer know.
Once more fill the glass, the flagon!
Let me drink to my desire.
If she find a heap of ashes,
Say, “He perished in her fire!”
Can it be, O star transcendent,
That I fold thee to my breast?
Now I know, what depths of anguish
May in parting be expressed.
Yes, ’tis thou, of all my blisses
Lovely, loving partner—thou!
Mindful of my bygone sorrows,
E’en the present awes me now.
When the world in first conception
Lay in God’s eternal mind,
In creative power delighting
He the primal hour designed.
When he gave command for being,
Then was heard a mighty sigh
Full of pain, as all creation
Broke into reality.
Up then sprang the light; and darkness
Doubtful stood apart to gaze;
All the elements, dividing
Swiftly, took their several ways.
In confused, disordered dreaming
Strove they all for freedom’s range—
Each for self, no fellow-feeling;
Single each, and cold and strange.
Lo, a marvel—God was lonely!
All was still and cold and dumb.
So he framed dawn’s rosy blushes
Whence should consolation come—
To refresh the troubled spirit
Harmonies of color sweet:
What had erst been forced asunder
Now at last could love and meet.
Then, ah then, of life unbounded
Sight and feeling passed the gates;
Then, ah then, with eager striving
Kindred atoms sought their mates.
Gently, roughly they may seize them,
So they catch and hold them fast:
“We,” they cry, “are now creators—
Allah now may rest at last!”
So with rosy wings of morning
Towards thy lips my being moves;
Sets the starry night a thousand
Glowing seals upon our loves.
We are as we should be—parted
Ne’er on earth in joy or pain;
And no second word creative
E’er can sunder us again!