Poems Without Frontiers

Poems in Translation

David Paley

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That Night in May
David William Paley

"Where were you that night in May
When we had arranged to meet again?
So great were expectations,
So sad we parted twain.
What were your deliberations
And had I hoped in vain?
Or were you with me, nonetheless,
As you and I, in separation,
Were linked in far off worlds
Where absence intervened
To blaze our wishes through the void
And speak as if our souls embraced,
All distance then destroyed.

"The moonlight shone in softer tones
As music played from heavenly heights
And all the angels crowded round
To sing the song of spangled nights
Whilst stars were dancing to the sound.
What were our thoughts on that occasion
When we gazed upon that cloak of sable
That donned a coat of silver grey
As we approached the break of day?
Were yours the same as mine;
And were you able to divine
What I was thinking then"?

"I was far away in a world of dreams,
Elated by the day we met,
Staring into widespread heavens
That held a vastness black as jet
But full of wisdom in its silvered ease
That signalled through the ether steeps.
All before me was my life to come
That stretched unchecked like rolling seas
Where I was lost in trackless deeps
Of glistening, luminous waves
Adrift on banks of watery waste
That glittered yet in arching skies
As I flew like spindrift from the crests.

"Thus, I floated through the air,
Though firmly rooted to the ground,
Resolved to meet your longing stare
And all our sadness to confound
Wherein no word should stay unsaid.
Muses fly with the speed of light
Where feet must drag their wings of lead;
But fleeting clouds there, high aloft,
Sailed the heavens with canvas spread.
Far away though you might be,
I would spy you from my crow's nest heart
And pour the hours from atop my eyrie
To be left with none to spend apart".

"We lie upon our feathered bed
As if upon a cloud of down
And pluck a star from overhead
From which to plait our nuptial crown.
Let dewdrops in the morning shine
And all the garden flowers bloom,
For, throughout this life divine,
We shall love until the tomb.
All the brightness stays intact
As we emerge from night;
No empty heaven mars our days
When we are washed by starry light
Or bathed in kindly, noontide rays.

"We have no cause for lamentation
When both our lives have many hours;
Those times of old bear no relation
To this life forever ours.
The journey now is undertaken
And all those distant days recede
In memory that is quickly fading
Like a landscape passed at speed.
Time has lost its power
To disturb our golden bower:
We have passed through heaven's realm
And feel it still on earth's fair rim
When clouds no longer lour
But drop more love in every shower".