With the curtains drawn together,
At my table of rough wood,
And the firelight flickering softly,
Do I fall to thoughtful mood.
Flocks and flocks of sweet illusions,
Memories the mind recalls,
And they softly creep like crickets
Through time’s grey and crumbled walls;
Or they drop with gentle patter
On the pavement of the soul,
As does wax before God’s altar
From the sacred candles roll.
About the room in every corner
Silver webs the spiders sew,
While among the dusty bookshelves
Furtive mice soft come and go.
And I gaze towards the ceiling
That so many times I saw,
And I listen how the bindings
With their tiny teeth they gnaw.
O, how often have I wanted
My worn Lyre aside to lay;
From poetry and solitude
At last my thoughts to turn away.
But again the mice, the crickets,
With their small and rustling tread,
Awake in me familiar longings
And with poetry fill my head.
Once in a while, alas too rarely,
When my lamp is burning late,
Suddenly my heart beats wildly
For I hear the latch-bar grate.
It is She. My dusky chamber
In a moment seems to glow;
As if an icon’s holy lustre
Did o’er life’s threshold flow.
And I know not how the moments
Have the heart away to sneak,
While we whisper low our loving,
Hand in hand, and cheek to cheek.
Translated by Corneliu M. Popescu