Poems Without Frontiers

Poems in Translation

David Paley

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Floating on the Wind
David William Paley

No youthful bloom survives
When frost has bitten May;
No summer shines forever
Despite the longest day;
No snows of winter's claw
Are warmed by August blaze
Unless it be that thoughts remain
To be retrieved from densest haze.

But heavy wine within my cup
Brings silent songs of bygone years
So distant, now, but with me still
Among the echoes of our lyre.
Those remnants of our tender age
Then drift to me upon the air:
The murmuring breeze your voice;
The trembling leaves your choir.

Sunk deep in sleep with fond recall
Of those enchanted hours,
I dance in worlds apart
With sight no longer dimmed;
For entry to our hidden realm
Reveals the treasure of the past
In glimmers of a smile
Floating on the wind.

Like smoke from disused chimney
In vast, mysterious night,
A wraith has reached me dimly
Transforming gloom to silver bright;
The glinting stars so high above
Light up the stage as they renew
The gossamer threads that waft our love
To weave again the scenes we knew.

Though deeds are veiled by passing time,
Such pale remembrance of so long ago
Lives on to pierce the dark
And mingle with the moonlight rays.
I clasp with empty hands
Your soul against my breast;
The oft recurring waif
That through my slumber strays.

I hold you, now, within my heart
As close as cloud to sky
So far away from mortal life,
So near to memories sight.
But whispers of a stifled youth
Made loud amid your fond caress
Will cease to sound when you have fled
Beyond invasion of the light.

Too soon, the lamp is held aloft
By well-intentioned dawn
And dreams, so tender soft,
Must flee intrusion of the morn.
Let age be squandered in bright display
Until the wings of feathered flight
Descend upon the twilight grey
That life with death, once more, unite.