I want to express my anguish in verses that speak
of my vanished youth, a time of dreams and roses,
and the bitter defloration of my life
by many little cares and one vast aching sorrow.
And the voyage to a dim orient in ships half-seen,
the seeds of prayer that flowered in blasphemies,
the bewilderment of a swan among the puddles,
the false nocturnal blue of a sick Bohemia.
Distant harpsichord, forgotten and silent,
that never gave my dreams the sublime sonata;
orphan skiff, heraldic tree, dark nest
which the night made lovely with its silver light;
Hope still aromatic with fresh herbs; the trill
of the nightingale in the spring morning;
the white lily cut down by a fatal destiny;
the search for happiness, and the persecutions of evil
And the dismal amphora with its divine poison
that causes the inner torments of this life;
the fearful knowledge of our human muck;
and the horror of knowing that we are transitory,
the horror of walking blindly, among alarms,
toward the unknowable, toward the inevitable;
and the brute nightmares that rack our weeping sleep,
from which no one but Her can wake us up!