THE MASS AT DAWN
Rendered into English Verse by Alice Stone Blackwell
Do you know it? 'Tis a story
That the mothers tell their children
On the cold, sad nights of winter,
While the wind, that vagrant, whistles
In the streets his doleful ballads,
And light hands unseen are drumming
Upon all the clouded windows.
Do you wish to hear the story?
Then into mine eyes gaze deeply,
And within your orbs of onyx
Let those sands of diamond sparkle
That within your eyes are kindled
When you wish my sight to dazzle.
O my verses, birds ungrateful!
Start again upon your journey,
For my spring once more is with me.
Now spread wide your wings of azure,
Build your nests now in my poems!
Long ago, in times departed,
Long, long since, in distant ages,
That old church, to ruin falling,
Seemed to gazers at a distance
A caprice of mists and vapors
Hanging from the tall trees' branches.
From afar, the mass looked formless;
Coming nearer, clear to vision
Domes and towers displayed their outlines;
Architraves, a ruined portal,
Griffins, monsters and archangels,
And, in wondrous equilibrium
- Of Mexico.