THE LONELY POPLARS GROW
Down where the lonely poplars grow
How often have I erred;
My steps that all the neighbours know
You only have not heard.
Towards your window lighted through
How oft my gaze has flown;
A world entire my secret knew
You only have not known.
A word, a murmur of reply
How often did I pray!
What matters then if I should die,
Enough to live that day;
To know one hour of tenderness,
One hour of lover's night;
To hear your whisper's soft caress
One hour, then come what might!
Had you but granted me a glance
That was not filled with scorn,
Out of its shining radiance
A new star had been born.
You would have lived through lives untold
Beyond the ends of time;
O deity with arms so cold,
O marble form sublime!
An idol of some pagan lore
As now no more is seen,
Come down to us from times of yore,
From times that long have been.
My worship was of ages gone,
Sad eyes by faith beguiled,
Each generation handed on
From father unto child.
But now I very little care
To walk along that lane,
Nor heed the face I found so fair
Looks out for me in vain;
For you are like them all today
In bearing and in guise,
And I but look on your display
With cold and lifeless eyes.
You should have known to value right
With wondering intent,
And lit your "candela" at night
To Love that God had sent.
English version by Corneliu M. Popescu