Monday, October 4, 2010

The Evening Star

In times when fairy tales begin,
In times with magic laden,   (1)
There lived, of high and noble kin,
A most enchanting maiden.

She was the only child they raised,
Of wits and virtues many, (2)
As is the Virgin midst the praised
And midst the stars Selene.

Beneath a dark, majestic vault
She walks, her steps abating   (3)
Close to the window where, in alt,
The Evening Star's awaiting.

She gazes at his distant rays
That glow and light the ocean, (4)
While on the rolling water ways
Black galleys set in motion.

She sees him now, she sees him then,
Thus ripens her desire; (5)
From watching over and again,
His love for her grows higher.

When on her elbows her head leans,
Sweet reveries prolonging, (6)
Her heart and soul can find no means
To quieten their longing.

And so alive his light cascades
Whenever dusk gets nearer,   (7)
Around the murky castle's shades
As he's about to see her...


He trails her footsteps as she leaves
Towards her night's retire,   (8)
And with his icy sparkles weaves
A web of flashing fire.

And when she lies in bed to rest,
A sleepy child so candid, (9)
He strokes her arms set on her chest,
He closes her sweet eyelid;

And from the mirror's depth his glare
Reflects upon her body,   (10)
Upon her eyes shut unaware,
Upon her face leaned mildly.

Seeing her lips from smiling sweep,
He shivers in the mirror,   (11)
As he pursues her in her sleep
To hold her spirit dearer.

And then she speaks to him in dreams
And sighs within a sad plea: (12)
“Oh, sweet lord, who my night redeems,
Why don't you come? Come by me!

Descend, my stellar prince so kind,
Along a soft ray gliding,   (13)
Pervade the castle and my mind,
Light to my life providing!”

He listens eagerly to her,
Resplendent and reviving, (14)
Then suddenly becomes a blur,
Into the dark sea diving.

The water around where he falls
Spawns rings of growing sizes, (15)
While he from unknown deepness crawls
And as a young man rises.

Walking as smoothly as on sand
Through open window spaces, (16)
He holds a sceptre in his hand
Enfolded in reed laces.

He looks just like a youthful king
With silky, golden tresses; (17)
A bluish shroud tied in a ring
His naked shoulders dresses.

But then his livid face disguise
Exudes a waxen glimmer   (18)
A handsome ghost with lively eyes
That only outwards shimmer.

“Out of my realm I came, your call
To follow with devotion; (19)
My father is the heavens tall,
My mother is the ocean.

To reach the place that is your home,
To get to see you closer, (20)
I had to leave the sky's fair dome
And be reborn of water.

Oh, come, my holy treasured love,
Give up your world forever! (21)
I am the Evening Star above,
You be my true bride ever!

Down there, in palaces of pearls,
We'll live for many ages, (22)
And everywhere the sea unfurls
Its souls shall be your pages.”

“Oh, you're as handsome as in dreams
An angel would be showing, (23)
But on the path lit by your beams
I'll never think of going;

A stranger in both tongue and wear,
A dead glow you deliver, (24)
For I'm alive, while you're a glare,
And your eye makes me shiver.”

* * *

A day goes by, and two more, then,
As night the heavens closes,   (25)
The Evening Star comes up again
And his bright rays exposes.

Inevitably in her dreams
His image keeps returning (26)
And thus the lord of wavy streams
Refills her heart with yearning:

“Descend, my stellar prince so kind,
Along a soft ray gliding,   (27)
Pervade the castle and my mind,
Light to my life providing!”

From up there, when he hears her pray,
In sorrow he retires, (28)
And soon the sky begins to sway
Around where he expires;

The air fills up with purple flame
That through the whole world surges, (29)
And from the chaos vales sublime
A graceful face emerges.

On long black curls like tendrils smooth
His crown seems to be burning, (30)
He comes surrounded by pure truth
Into a sun's blaze turning.

Amidst the folds of his black shroud
Two marble arms are shaping, (31)
His face is like a somber cloud
Beneath the gloomy draping;

And yet his large and splendid eyes
Shine deeply with desire,   (32)
Like two voracious passion cries
That through the dark transpire.

“Out of my realm I strived and came,
Your call again to follow; (33)
My father is the sun aflame,
My mother the night hollow;

Oh, come, my holy treasured love,
Give up your world forever! (34)
I am the Evening Star above,
You be my true bride ever!

Oh, come, and in your golden hair
Let me twine starry laces,   (35)
And on my heavens be my pair,
Most lovely of all faces.”

“Oh, you're as handsome as in dreams
A demon would be showing, (36)
But on the path lit by your beams
I'll never think of going!

Your cruel love is inhumane
And hurts my feelings deeply, (37)
My large eyes are in heavy pain,
Your fiery gazing burns me.”

“But how could I descend to you?
Do you not see the reason,   (38)
That my time never will be through,
While yours is just a season?”

“I know not where to seek an end,
Nor how to be beginning – (39)
Although your words I understand,
I cannot see their meaning;

But if you truly wish my heart
To love you like no other, (40)
Then from the heavens you depart,
Become a mortal, rather.”

“You ask me my immortal glow
To give up for your kisses, (41)
So I in turn wish you to know
How deep my love for you is;

Indeed, I shall be born in sin,
By novel law abiding; (42)
To the eternity I'm kin,
From it I'll be dividing.”

And he keeps going… out of sight.
For love of a young maiden (43)
He vanishes from heaven's height,
For days remaining hidden.

* *

But in the meantime Catalin,
Slick boy in servant jackets, (44)
In charge of pouring beverage in
Men's goblets at the banquets,

A page who carries all around
The empress's long dresses, (45)
A bastard child, abandoned found,
Yet not shy with his glances,

With rosy cheeks fresh like the sprout
Of spring – cute little sinner, (46)
Quietly sneaks, spying about
And eyeing Catalina.

Just look how lovely is her sight,
And gorgeous… oh, God bless her! (47)
Yes, Catalin, the time is right
To try your luck, no lesser.

He steals a hold of her within
A path on the yard's borders. (48)
“What now, you wicked Catalin?
Go 'way and mind your orders!”

“What now? I wish to see you slip
Away from thoughts so lonely,   (49)
And rather laugh, and give my lip
A little buss, one only.”

“But I don't know what you speak of –
Leave me alone, go yonder! (50)
Oh, for the Evening Star above
I have an aching wonder.”

“If you don't know, I'd show you round
Love's yard, petal by petal, (51)
Only unwind and do not frown,
But bear with me a little.

As when a hunter lays a noose
For songbirds young and charmful, (52)
When I unfold my left arm loose
Embrace me in an armful;

And stare your eyes with still amaze
Into my eyes intently…   (53)
When your slim waist I try to raise,
Upon your toes rise gently;

When I look downwards, to my face
Keep your face straight up further,   (54)
So we can gaze with endless grace
And sweetness at each other;

And such that everything is said
Between ourselves, my lover, (55)
When kissing you I bow my head,
Kiss me over and over.”

She listens to the naughty boy
Astonished and distracted,   (56)
And playfully, and rather coy,
Now snubbing, now attracted,

She says to him: “Since I was small
I learned to know you closely; (57)
So chatty and no good at all,
You would quite suit me, mostly…

Alas, a stellar prince arose
From a forgotten kindness,   (58)
And to unbound horizon glows
Above the ocean's blindness;

And secretly my eyelids seize,
For they are drowned by weeping (59)
Whenever waves upon the seas
Towards him journey sweeping;

He shines with everlasting love,
My pain away beseeches, (60)
And yet ascends so high above
To be beyond my reaches.

His sad and frosty light rays spill
Across two worlds departed… (61)
Forever I will love him, still
Forever we'll be parted…

And for this reason my days are
As empty as the prairies, (62)
While nights are filled with holy charm,
Mysterious like fairies.”

“You are but childish, hence so frail…
Let's run afar forever,   (63)
And hope that they will lose our trail
So none will know us ever.

For in our hearts we shall be twin,
We shall have joy and wellness,   (64)
And you'll no longer miss your kin
Or dream of stellar highness.”

*  *  *

The Evening Star departs. The sky
With growing wings he beckons,   (65)
And thousand-year-long flights go by
In just as many seconds.

A flood of stars unfolds below,
Above – more stars that twinkle; (66)
He seems to be a lightning flow
Astray amidst their sprinkle.

Out of the chaos vales sublime
Surrounding him and surging, (67)
He sees, beyond the dawn of time,
The streaming lights emerging.

As they emerge and spill around
Like giant seas amassing, (68)
He flies, his yearning mind unbound,
Until all turns to nothing.

For where he lands there's no domain
Nor eye that can discover, (69)
And time itself struggles in vain
From bareness to recover.

It's but a void, yet he does find
A thirst that draws him over, (70)
A deep abyss resembling blind
The failure to remember.

“Of harsh and dark eternity
Relieve me, please, my Father,   (71)
And blessed thy name forever be
By all the world together.

Oh, ask, my Lord, for any charge,
But make my fate another, (72)
For while your source puts lives at large
As well their deaths you gather.

My immortality recall,
Extinguish my eyes' fire, (73)
And give me, in exchange of all,
One hour of desire.

From chaos, Lord, I rose, and yearn
To be returned to chaos…   (74)
Out of the utmost stillness born
I have a thirst for stillness.”

“Hyperion, you who from naught
Appeared, a world reclaiming, (75)
Ask not for signs or marvels that
Have neither face nor naming.

Become a man – is this your goal,
Their likeness to acquire?   (76)
But were mankind to perish whole,
Others would still aspire.

They only build, yet cannot save,
Ideals all too shallow – (77)
As waves are marching to their grave
More waves arise and follow.

They have but lucky stars to chase
While haunted by misfortunes, (78)
We live outside of time and space
With no death in our fortunes.

Out of eternal yesterday
Today's living expire; (79)
Were an old sun to fade away,
New suns would burst afire.

Seemingly parted from the void
By void they are predated,   (80)
For all are born to be destroyed
And die to be created.

Still you, Hyperion, shall last
Even beyond your twilight… (81)
Ask for the prime word of my past –
Shall I gift you with insight?

Your voice at singing shall I ease,
Adorn it with emotions (82)
That could charm mountains and their trees
And islands of the oceans?

Perhaps in deed you wish to show
Your righteousness and power? (83)
I'd have the Earth sliced row by row
For you, to rule all over.

I'll give you fleets lined side by side
And legions you could spread through (84)
The lands afar and oceans wide,
But death I cannot grant you…

And dying for – who's really worth?
Just turn around and travel   (85)
Back to that ever-drifting Earth
And watch your fate unravel.”

  *  *  *

His place, where he was meant to stay,
Hyperion regaining, (86)
Like visions from a former day
His rays, again, start raining.

For twilight's hour is about
And night will be her daughter; (87)
The quiet moon is coming out
Trembling from under water

And fills up with her magic glow
The trails in forests hidden. (88)
By lovely linden trees, below,
Two youngsters lay down even.

“Upon your bosom let my head,
Beloved, to surrender   (89)
Beneath the glitter your eyes spread
So sweet no words can render;

With their enchantingly cold light
Stroll out through my compassion, (90)
And pour perpetual delight
Along my night of passion.

And always over me remain
To ease my aching sadness,   (91)
For you are my first loving pain
And my last dream of madness.”

Hyperion sees from above
The wonder on their faces;   (92)
He barely touched her neck with love,
When she his waist embraces…

The silver flowers' perfume spreads,
Their bloom is gently snowing (93)
Upon the two young children's heads
With long and fair curls flowing.

Then she, from love in spirits high,
Raises her eyes and glimpses (94)
The Evening Star. Yet only shy
Entrusts him with her wishes:

“Descend, my stellar prince so kind,
Along a soft ray gliding,   (95)
Pervade the forest and my mind,
Light to my fate providing!”

He shivers like the other days
Above the hills and valleys, (96)
While guiding on their lonesome ways
The rolling water alleys;

But unlike then, he does not fold
Into the sea from farther:   (97)
“What do you care, you earthly mold,
Whether it's I or other?

Enclosed within your narrow ring
Good-fortuned lives you're spending,   (98)
Whilst I to my own heavens cling,
Immortal and unbending.”

(by Mihai Eminescu)
from Selma Paolino

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