Wednesday, December 27, 2023

"North of Boston"

I had for my winter evening walk-
No one at all with whom to talk,
But I had the cottages in a row
Up to their shining eyes in snow.

And I thought I had the folk within:
I had the sound of a violin;
I had a glimpse through curtain laces
Of youthful forms and youthful faces.

I had such company outward bound.
I went till there were no cottages found.
I turned and repented, but coming back
I saw no window but that was black.

Over the snow my creaking feet
Disturbed the slumbering village street
Like profanation, by your leave,
At ten o'clock of a winter eve.


"The Neighbor"

Strange violin, are you following me?
In how many distant cities already
has your lonely night spoken to mine?
Do hundreds play you? Or does one?
Are there in all great cities
such as without you would
already have lost themselves in the rivers?
And why does it always happen to me?
Why am I always neighbor to those
who fearfully force you to sing
and to say: Life is heavier
than the heaviness of all things?

M.D. Herter Norton translation

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