Monday, 15 February 2016

Longest poem ever written - 2

As I wrote in the first part of this post, Lucifer, or, The evening star is the longest Love poem ever written. 98 stanzas. It is not just any stanzas... have a look, you'd be surprised: most of Romanians write poetry only with rhymes. There is no other way of writing for me, especially. 
Unfortunately, I am not ready to write any poetry in English yet. But I will. 

I had to split in two, as it's slowed my page dramatically. 
Here is the second part. Eminescu was obsessed with love.

.........
About this time young Catalin
Was a page boy of that house,
Who filled the festive cups with wine
At feast and royal carouse.

And carried high the regal train;
A foundling, brought by chance,
Born of a humble unknown strain,
Though roguish in his glance,

Round-cheeked, like rose-apples red,
Mischievous, bright-eyed,
A slipped with quick yet stealthy tread
To Catalina's side.

Upon my soul, Queen of romance !
Was such a darling ever?
Come Catalin, quick try your chance,
For now's your time or never.

At which he round her waist did twine
His arm in sudden wooing.
"Behave, you rascal Catalin,
Whatever are you doing?"

"By sorrow brooding all the while
You would your heart assuage,
But better you would turn and smile
And kiss just once your page."

"I know not what your wishes are,
Leave me alone, you knave.
Ah me ! The longing for that star
Will drive me to the grave."

"If you don't know, and you would learn
How love is set about,
Don't recklessly my teaching spurn,
First fairly hear me out.

As trappers deftly birds pursue
With nets among the tree,
When I stretch out my arm to you,
Slip your arm thus round me.

Your eyes into my eyes must glow,
Nor turn away, nor close
And when I lift you softly, so,
Rise gently on your toes.

And when my face is downwards bent
Your face turned up will stay,
That we may gaze with sweet intent
For ever and a day.

While should you wish at last to learn
The measure of love's bliss,
When hot my lips on yours do burn
Give back again my kiss."

Amused, yet with a girl's surprise
At what the youth acclaimed,
She blushed and turned away her eyes,
Half willing, half ashamed.

"A chatterbox you were since small
With overmuch to tell,
Yet I had felt, in spite of all,
We'd suit each other well".

But Lucifer's slow sailing spark
Crept up out of the sea
Over the horizon's arc,
Prince of eternity.

And now my wretched heart does bleed,
With tears my eyes grow dim,
When e'er I watch the waves that speed
Across the sea to him.

While he looms with adoring ray
My grief to overthrow,
Yet ever climbs to heights away
Where mortals cannot go.

His silver beams that space defy
Sadly my watchers are
And I shall love him till I die,
Yet he be ever far.

And thus it is the days to me
Are drear as desert sand,
The nights filled with a mystery
I dare not understand..."

"How childish is the way you speak.
Come on ! Come, lets run away,
That all the world for us shall seek
Though no one finds the way.

And we shall nothing of this life regret
But joyous live and sprightly,
Till soon your parents you'll forget,
Nor dream your longings nightly."

*
*
*
*

Lucifer set out and o'er
The sky his wings extended,
And million years flew past before
As many moments ended.

A sky of stars above his way,
A sky of stars below;
As lightning flash midst them astray
In one continuous flow.

Till round his primal chaos hurled
When out of causeless night
The first, up flaming dawn unfurled
Its miracle of light.

Still further flew he ere the start
Of things of form devoid,
Spurred by the yearning of his heart,
Far back into the void.

Yet where he reach's is not the bourn
Nor yet where eye can see;
Beyond where struggling time was torn
Out of eternity.

Around him there was naught. And still,
Strange yearning there was yet,
A yearning that all space did fill,
As when the blind forget.

"O, Father God, this knot untie
Of my celestial birth,
And praised you will be on high
And on the rolling earth.

The price you ask is little count,
Give fate another course,
For you are of fair life the fount
And of calm death the source.

Take back this halo from my head,
Take back my starry lower,
And give to me, o God, instead
Of human love one hour.

Out of the chaos was I wrought,
In chaos would I be dispersed,
Out of the empty darkness brought,
For darkness do I thirst..."

"Hyperion, o child divine,
Don't thus your state disclaim,
Nor ask for miracle, nor sign
That has nor sense nor name.

You wish to be a man of son,
To be a star you scorn;
But men quick perish every one,
And men each day are born.

Yet stars burn on with even glow,
And it is fate's intending
That they nor time, nor place shall know,
Unfettered and unending.

Out of eternal yesterday
Into tomorrow's grave,
Even the sun will pass way
That other sun's shall lave;

The sun that every morn does rise
At last it's spirit gives,
For each thing lives because it dies,
And dies because it lives.

But you, Hyperion, never wane,
Night's miracle sublime,
But in the sky your place retain,
The wonder of all time.

So what strange fancy holds your mind
What dreaming thus berates you?
Return to earth and there you'll find
The awakening that awaits you."

*
*
*
*

Hyperion did straightway go
To where through ages gone
His gleam upon the earth below
Nightly he had shone.

And it was evening when he came,
Night's darkness slow assembled,
And rose the moon a frozen flame
That in the water trembled,

And filled the forest's twilight clime
With a silver starry mist,
Where 'neath a tall and spreading lime
Two fair-haired children kissed.

"O, let me lay in lover's wise
My head upon your breast,
Beneath the wonder of your eyes,
In soft and fragrant rest.

In mystery's enchanted light
Pervade me with your charm,
And flood my soul through passion's night
With time's eternal calm.

O, quench my longing's eager thirst,
My aching doubts overcast,
For you to me are love the first,
And of my dreams the last."

Hyperion gazed down and knew
The fire their souls possessed;
For scarce the boy her nearer drew,
She clasped him to her breast.

A rain of petals in the air
That softly did enfold
Two fervent children strangely fair,
With locks of plated gold.

She, lost in love's enraptured flight,
To heaven turned her eyes,
Saw Lucifer's down shining light
And whispered through her sighs:

"Come down, good Lucifer and kind,
O lord of my aspire.
And fill the forest and my mind
With your sweetest fire!"


And Lucifer, alone in space,
Her tender summons heard,
A planet o'er the ocean's face
That trembled at her word,

But did not plunge as in former day,
And in his heart did cry:
"O, what care you, fair face of clay,
If it be he or I?

Still earth shall only earth remain,
Let luck its course unfold,
And I in my own kingdom reign
Immutable and cold." 


Translated by Corneliu M. Popescu


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