Murmur of the Forest
On the pond bright sparks are falling,
Wavelets in the sunlight glisten;
Gazing from the woods with rapture,
Do I let my spirit capture
Drowsiness, and lie and listen...
Quails are calling.
All the silent water sleeping
Of the streams and of the rivers;
Only where the sun is shining
Thousand circles there designing
As with fright its surface shivers,
Pipe the birds midst woods concealing,
Which of us their language guessing?
Birds of endless kinds and races
Chirp amidst its leafy places
And what wisdom they expressing
And what feeling.
Asks the cuckoo: "Who has seen
Our belovèd summer idol,
Beautiful beyond all praising
Through her languid lashes gazing,
Our most lovely, tender, bridal,
Bends the lime with gentle care
Her sweet body to embower;
In the breeze his branches singing
Lift her in their arms upswinging,
While a hundred blossoms shower
On her hair.
Asks the brooklet as it flows
"Where has gone my lovely lady?
She, who evening hour beguiling,
In my silver surface smiling,
Broke its mirror deep and shady
With her toes?"
I replied: "O forest, she
Comes no more, no more returning !
Only you, great oaks, still dreaming
Violet eyes, like flowers gleaming,
That the summer through were yearning
Just for me."
Happy then, alone we twain,
Through the forest brush-wood striding !
Sweet enchanted tale of wonder
That the darkness broke asunder...
Dear, wherever you'd be hiding,
Come again !
Why do you wail o forest trees ...
"Why do you wail o forest trees,
Forest, without rain or breeze,
Your branches ill at ease ?"
"How indeed should I not wail
When the hours of summer fail !
Nights grow longer, days get short,
On my branches few leaves caught,
And the winds with bitter sword
Drive my choristers abroad;
Autumn winds that forests flay,
Winter near, spring far away.
How indeed should I not groan
When my singing birds have flown,
And across the frozen sky
Flocks of swallows hurry by,
And with them my fancies fly
Leaving me alone to sigh;
Hurly on as time in flight
Turning day half into night,
Time that o'er the forest rings
With a fluttering of wings...
And they pass and leave me cold,
Nude and shivering and old;
For my thoughts with them have flown,
And with them my gladness gone !"
"Forest, trusted friend and true,
Forest dear, how do you do?
Since the day I saw you last
Many, many years have passed
And though you still steadfast stand
I have travelled many a land."
"Yea, and I, what have I done?
Watched the years their seasons run;
Heard the squalls that through me groan
Ere my singing birds have flown;
Heard the creaking of my boughs
Neath the mounted winter snows.
Yea indeed, what have I done?
Done as I have always done;
Felt my summer leaves re-growing,
Heard the village girls who going
By the path that meets the spring
Melancholy doina sing."
"Forest, though the tempests blow,
The years come and the years go,
And the seasons wax and wane,
You are ever young again."
"What of seasons, when for ages
All the sky my lake engages;
What of years ill or good,
When the sap mounts in the wood;
What of years good or ill,
When the Danube rolls on still.
Only man is always changing,
O'er the world forever ranging;
We each do our place retain,
As we were, so we remain;
Oceans, rivers, mountains high
And the stars that light the sky,
Saturn with its whirling rings,
And the forest with its springs."