A Dirge


Amy Levy

“Mein Herz, mein Herz ist traurig

Doch lustig leuchtet der Mai”

There’s May amid the meadows,

There’s May amid the trees;

Her May‐time note the cuckoo

Sends forth upon the breeze.

Above the rippling river

May swallows skim and dart;

November and December

Keep watch within my heart.

The spring breathes in the breezes,

The woods with wood‐notes ring,

And all the budding hedgerows

Are fragrant of the spring.

In secret, silent places

The live green things upstart;

Ice‐bound, ice‐crown’d dwells winter

For ever in my heart.

Upon the bridge I linger,

Near where the lime‐trees grow;

Above, swart birds are circling,

Beneath, the stream runs slow.

A stripling and a maiden

Come wand’ring up the way;

His eyes are glad with springtime,

Her face is fair with May.

Of warmth the sun and sweetness

All nature takes a part;

The ice of all the ages

Weighs down upon my heart.

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