SHEER below us, as we stand to-night
Leaning on the balustrade, the river
Flows in such still darkness that the stars,
Painted on its bosom, scarcely quiver.
Far above us, through the violet depths,
All those silent stars sweep in their places;
What a solemn shining flight they soar,
From court to court of the eternal spaces !
Oh, how beautiful you are, my love!
How your heart bounds with its tender yearning !
How upon your lips, your cheeks, your eyes,
The fragrant flame of your full life is burning!
Yet alas, alas, the flame shall fall,
Love and lover shall be dust and ashes,
While those stars move mercilessly on,
And the tide still paints their awful flashes!
Harriet Prescott Spofford.