Love for Love

He knows the long, dumb miracle of the summer nights
Who has shared with us the moon’s hospitable rites . . .
In a lilting cradle of soft corn the poppy bathes in dew
To the traveling songs of cranes; and a hundred blended pipes
Shed quiet tears
Into a moan of mountain breezes hidden in the corn’s ripe ears . . .
The drenched fields swell,
Bursting their bounds like a tide from a bottomless well.
Somewhere, in Galichnik perhaps, the drumbeats sound
At a wedding feast, a huddle of carts in the village and dark-red
Garments merging on the ground.
Young hearts run riot and the wild blood burns
With nuptial song in the throat that singes like a tinder
And will change a frigid stone into a glowing cinder.
Yet mornings are more miraculous than nights
With their star-spangled necklaces and pearls of purple lights.
The man is happy who has been to Velesh or has spent sweet hours
In Tikvesh, seen the Prespian landscapes, picked an armful of wild flowers
In Malesh, soaked a honey biscuit in bubbles of sweet wine,
And fondled our young lambs,
While a shepherd pipes his dirge for Delchef, the departed hero
Of this land — for such a man holds Macedonia in his heart.
He who has watched the fingers of embroidering stars
Busy above the lakes, and heard the boom
Of minstrelsy from weavers at their carpet loom,
And seen near Prilep the tobacco leaves like a great gold stain
On the lowland fields — such a man has carried away our love;
But love for love comes back to us again.

Translated by Dorian Cooke.