One special time, my sweet and lovely friend,
Your smooth arm on my own was laid
(Deep in my spirit where the shadows blend
That memory will never fade):
Late night, and like a medal in the sky
The harvest moon was beaming down,
And, like a river, the solemnity
Of night streamed on the sleeping town.
Along the houses, by the hitching-posts,
Some silent cats passed furtively
With ears alert, and like familiar ghosts
They walked with us as company.
Then suddenly, within the confidence
Born of the pale and limpid night,
From you, that rich, resounding instrument
Ringing with radiant delight,
From you, as joyous as a trumpet cry
That greets the sparkling break of day,
A wistful note, a note bizarre,
and shy, Slipped almost haltingly away
As if it were a soiled, stunted girl,
Dishonour to her family
Who'd tried for years to hide her from the world
Down in a cellar, secretly.
She sang, poor dear, your note of plaintive sighs:
'Nothing is certain here,' she said,
'Always, no matter what its new disguise,
The human ego rears its head;
Being a beauty is a hard affair,
A banal business, vanity,
The swoons of mad and frigid dancers, where
The smiles are done mechanically.
And it is foolishness to trust in hearts,
For hearts will break and beauty dies,
Till Darkness with his hod picks up the parts,
To haul them to Eternal skies!'
Often I think about that mystery,
The moon's enchantment over all,
And of the confidence you breathed to me
There at the heart's confessional.
Přeložil James McGowan