Charles van Lerberghe
Along The Pale Waters, In These Valleys - Poem by Charles van Lerberghe
Along the pale waters, in these valleys,
Silvered with moonlight and willows,
In the blue twilight, two by two,
A hand on a shoulder,
Slow shadows trial past:
They are the souls.
Strangers to the earth, they come
By which paths of deep night
And which heaths of asphodels?
Toward this star of Eden,
The other world.
Vainly I beseech, while offering my arms:
Are you happy?
Not one of them answers.
They do not understand.
They pass silently,
Wreathed in a pale smile;
And from the heart of happiness, they sigh.
Neither the roses and their aromas
Nor these beautiful shores where grow
The flower of the hyacinth and the flower of balm
Have dispelled the vague fear
And the bitterness of these souls;
They suffered long ago.
They are the Shadows and their shadows delight them…
Be gentle to them, O Light, touch them gently,
Suavity divine, Chalice where the sky rests,
Which they approach only in trembling,
And with closed eyelids.
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