An Anthology of Modern Bohemian Poetry/Nocturne

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For works with similar titles, see Nocturne.

Karel de Wetter (b. 1882).

 

NOCTURNE

 

Serenely the country sleeps in the gloom,
It seems like to a grave-yard there,
Or like unto one mighty tomb,
Where I betake myself for prayer.

Like unto wraiths the trees are dreaming,
Rigid is every leaf thereon,—
The moon is on the waters gleaming,
Like to the image of a swan.

Afar from a window somewhere is playing
A piano o'er lands in dream held fast,—
As if in longing someone were praying
For the paradise, vanished in days long past.

As if from a bosom wounded sore,
The sound of frenzied laughter were pressed;
And as if lovers that are no more
Blent in kisses were gone to rest.

I feel as if o'er the land there stole
A grievous sorrow without a sound—
And this, methinks, is Schumann's soul,
That in lonely places roams around.

 

From the Journal "The Bell"
(1911).