MOONBEAM, come in! Thou art a welcome guest.
‘Tis long since I have seen thy silver flame.
Although I left the casement open wide,
Shadows alone into my chamber came.
Ungrateful comrade, thou art still the same—
The beam transparent, gliding through the night,
The beauteous gleam of splendor from on high,
Diaphanous with amber’s yellow light.
Come in! She is not here; naught canst thou spy.
Moonbeam, thou canst not now be indiscreet,
Even if thou upon the nuptial couch
Shouldst cast thy pearly radiance, clear and sweet.
O’erflow the carpet like a glittering rain,
Flood all the silent room from wall to wall,
And, clinging to the darksome drapery,
Give it the semblance of a silver shawl!
See’st thou, all things are dusty and unkempt;
The heart is chilled to view their mournful air.
Upon the blackened nail the bird cage hangs
Empty and hushed; the songbirds are not there.
See’st thou, around the railing rough the vine
Its faded blossoms wreathes; no flower we spy
Upon the rose-tree; all the lilies now
Are withered, the sweet basil plants are dry.
Thou brightness indiscreet, from heaven above!
She loved thee in the past: I love thee now.
How often have I seen thy glimmering light
Reflected from her pure and pensive brow!
The girl with golden hair is here no more,—
The dreamer, pale and white as ocean foam,
Who said, as on thy shifting light she gazed,
“It is the smile of God within our home!”
Ungrateful comrade, only thou and I
Are in this chamber, now a place of dole:
Yet welcome, heavenly brightness indiscreet!
If thou would’st see her, come into my soul!
Translation by Alice Stone Blackwell.