Hawthorn and Wisteria
For Gabriel Nègre
The tides are bringing in the shining moon,
Here, on the misty curtain of words
The stars walk, singing.
The pure breeze arrives to stir the beloved names
In the quiet folds of my heart.
I hear the voice of ancient days
Which delight me to my heart.
Tell me, little white boats,
Sailing the transparent waters of the sky,
My friends of long ago, where are they now?
From high in the old aspen tree
I watch for their return in the fallen night.
Tell me, clear river,
Do they still remember me?
We’ve grown old together.
All night I listen as
The light wind’s caress makes
The sparkling flowers of the peach tree
Fall onto the velvet of the taciturn grass.
And the gentle wind and my poem become as one.
Hawthorn and wisteria!
Translated from the French of Athanase Vantchev de Thracy by Norton Hodges