Yes, that's how I was,
I know that face,
That bony figure
Of flesh or limb;
In health happy,
Careless of the claim
Of the world's sick
Or the world's poor;
In pain craven -
Lord, breathe once more
On that sad mirror,
Let me be lost
In mist for ever
Rather than own
Such bleak reflections,
Let me go back
On my two knees
Slowly to undo
The knot of life
That was tied there.
By R. S. Thomas
from Tares (1961)
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle –
Why not I with thine?
See the mountain’s kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdain’d its brother:
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea –
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?
by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822)
The smokey blotches of the neighbours’ windows,
and windswept roses bending, drawing breath –
if I could think that life is but a dream,
that we cannot help waking after death.
To wait in heaven – heaven is so blue –
to wait in that cool bliss without a care.
And then, never to part with you.
With you for ever. Do you see? For ever…
by Георгий Владимирович Иванов (Georgii Vladimirovich Ivanov)
translated by Boris Dralyuk
Down and away flew the melting snow;
cheeks burned red and glistened.
I had not thought the moon was so small
or the clouds so smokily distant.
Asking for nothing, I’ll go away,
for my number is up, for ever.
I had not thought the moon was so fair
or so feaful up in heaven.
Midnight is near. I’m no one, no one’s,
worn out by the spectre of life,
marvelling at the moonbeam’s smoke
in my treacherous fatherland.
by Иннокентий Фёдорович Анненский (Innokenty Fyodorovich Annensky)
translated by Peter France