Would you like to be my tillable cropland
With sowings, grapevines, a fish pond, richly spanned,
With a forest, teeming with wellsprings, wild beasts ?
The cows will gift us with their full-uddered feasts
And, ready to be milked, will moo at our gate
Of blue-flowered wisterias in sheer wait.
The weasels will nimbly play in our courtyard
With the piglets and the ducks, herding off guard.
The gossamer chickens like a silk ringlet
Will venturously count the small-grained millet
And chase away mosquitoes for a ramble.
Facing the front porch, maple trees will tremble
In their motley coat and the rooster will crow.
We’ll bring flower-laden baskets to and fro.
From willowy osier twigs stored in bundles
We both shall weave the dowry chests in huddles.
While from the bountiful and lustrous sheep’s wool
We shall furnish the kittens’ beds quite brimful.
Would you like to be my garden’s lush palette,
Heavy with elecampane blooms and velvet ?
Since the yet unwed girl would no longer come
The garden lingers deserted and numb.
The house martins return to visit me,
A leafless tree in the orchard’s glory,
They swirl in flocks high and low –
While the dry wind sounds hollow.
Yet the wind dawdling at will
Would promptly answer, “He’s ill.”
A query would whisper through every thorn,
“What ails him ? What makes him so deeply mourn ?”
For he himself gropes around unaware,
Ponderously buried in paperware.
Yet the lilies emblazoned with ribbons,
Up on Herods’ and bishops’ staffs, icons
Which pray for me like a council of priests,
Accompanied by hermit nun-bees in feasts.
Are the vast church, the garden still expecting ?
Would the yet unwed girl come to the bell’s ting ?
Let her come, I’ll eagerly await
Her lofty steps, her slender stem’s gait.
Are they expecting on the church porch,
Like two high altars bearing the torch,
The wedding Sunday heralded by the fate’s drum ?
Are they expecting the dawns’ unwed girl to come
Shall I put, amongst goatlings and white doves anear,
My beloved wedding guests and witnesses here,
The ring on her finger, my love token to revere ?
I Can Behold No More…
I can behold no more, I’d like to stop
And listen : would the path roam free or drop ?
Who could have trampled down the bristle grass
For just a lonely traveller to pass ?
Neither waters nor winds cut off its flow.
Do footprints of saints or wolves there grow ?
The pathway winnowed for myself by fate
Is swift in leaving, yet in coming back so late.
While I’ve been treading it along, no stray,
I wouldn’t leave, it drives me far away.
I’d like to rest… I can behold my track
As, step by step, it leaves me, sinking back.
When the river rushed across my pathway,
It lured me with its sprightly flow,
“Come along my spry waterway !”
Heedlessly, I failed to go.
When the wind blew past my riversides’ sway,
It lured me with its soughing blow,
“Come along my soft breath astray !”
Heedlessly, I failed to go.
When the hawk swooped down, around my mainstay,
He lured me with his haughty winged bow,
“Come along my lofty hard way !”
Yet even with the hawk I failed to go.
They passed me by, chasing the faraway,
Failing to kindle or overshadow,
Rivers, winds, stars, hawks, making haste for prey,
Passed me by, heedful to hoe their own row.
English version by Gabriela PACHIA