Aquarium (Maeterlinck)

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Translated by Bernard Miall (1917)

O my desires no more, alas,
Summon my soul to my eyelids' brink,
For with its prayers that ebb and pass
It too must sink,
To lie in the depth of my closéd eyes;
Only the flowers of its weary breath
Like icy blooms to the surface rise,
Lilies of death.
Its lips are sealed, in the depths of woe,
And a world away, in the far-off gloom,
They sing of azure stems that grow
A mystic bloom.
But lo, its fingers I have grown
Pallid beholding them, I who perceive
Them traces the marks its poor unblown
Lost lilies leave.
And I know it must die, for its hour is o'er;
Folding its impotent hands at last,
Hands too weary to pluck any more
The flowers of the past