Poems Without Frontiers

Poems in Translation

David Paley

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Farewell to Bright Eyes
David William Paley

Once more, the time has come
To hold our happy child
Here within our arms
In the quiet of the night.
For we transform the darkness
To the rapture of our dreams,
When we hear the evening hymn
In the fading of the light.

Then, in sleep, our child appears
And floats to us through perfumed air
As softly as the moonlight beams
That heaven's realm has sent.
Now, the brightness in our tears
Will glisten in the dark
And words will sound within our souls
That burst with long lament;

Come from distant skies
As bright as sun on sea
And ride on wings aloft
As over fields you glide.
Come to us for one more hour
And trail that tiny hand
As we touch your flowing curls
And set farewell aside.

Come like the love that grows
Like spring that brings the flowers
And overcomes the winter snows
That fall on loving hours.
Come as the wisp of white
That grows to a billowing cloud
Or as the moon in dark of night
With silvered rays endowed.

Rest now in worlds above
And be the lasting smile
In the glimmering light of stars
Where you are living still.
There, will we keep the watch
And see you in our hearts
Like shimmering liquid gold
In the bed of a silver rill.

Our babbling brook will bubble
With the mirth of sparkling wine
Below the studded star lands
Past roses ever new;
And flow beneath the leaning boughs
That bend their blossom low
Where all the burgeoned garlands
Brush their blooms on dew.

But steeples far away
Sound their saddened knells
Across the fields and stooks of hay
In peals of chiming bells.
The beating of a muffled drum
Breathes forth in hushed farewells
To sound approach of rising sun,
And whisper through the dells.

From far off coasts we hear the waves
That wash so gently on the shore
And wake to find the lease expired,
Lapsed once more as oft before.
Now we lose again our sight
Of our dear child in that short night;
But we shall evermore remember
Those bright eyes in our December.

Drift slowly through the vastness
And sail those distant seas
Where all the rest is silent
And peaceful is the breeze.
But, no arrow that can speed you
Has left our empty quiver,
For, no death can take you from us
When you live in dreams forever.

David William Paley