Forest, O my forest

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Forest, O my forest  (1879) 
by Mihai Eminescu, translated by Petre Grimm

(In popular form)

Forest, O my forest dear,
What dost thou so lonesome here?
For since I have seen thee last
Many weary years have past,
And since I have gone away
In the world I much did stray.

— O, I do as in the past,
Listen to the winter’s blast,
Which my branches tears and breaks,
Chains with ice my streams and lakes,
On my paths snow-hills will lay,
All my songsters drives away.
And I do, as long ago,
Listen when the women go
Singing their old doina[1] song,
As they walk the path along,
To the fountain, where they still
Come their water pails to fill.

— Forest dear with quiet streams
All in this world flowing seems;
Time goes past, but only thou
Still art young and younger now.

— What is time, when every night
Shines for me the stars’ still light!
Be the weather good or bad,
Be it sunny, be it sad,
Winds through rustling leaves still blow
And the Danube’s waters flow.
Man alone is wavering,
Changeable and wandering,
While we all the same remain,
Mountains, rivers, the great main,
As we were so we abide,
This great world with deserts wide.
Sun, moon, stars, eternal things,
And the forest with its springs.

  1. Doina, the Rumanian popular song.