Weary of bitter rest where my failure to act

insults a fame for which I once fled from the dear

childhood of rose woods thriving under nature's sheer

blue, and still wearier seven times of my grim pact

to carve out nightly some new grave in the terrain

that lies penurious and cold within my brain

a pitiless gravedigger of sterility---

what shall I tell the dawn, as roses visit me

O dreams, when the immense cemetery imposes

unity on the void holes, fearing its livid roses?

I want to leave the ravenous Art of cruel lands

and, smiling at the antiquated reprimands

cast at me by the past, genius, my every friend---

even my lamp---although it knows my agonies

to imitate the limpid-souled refined Chinese

who finds unalloyed rapture as he paints the end

of a flower on his cups made of moon-ravished snow

some unfamiliar flower whose scent he used to know

in childhood, and which still perfumes his crystalline

life, grafting itself on the soul's blue filigree.

And, because Death is such, with the sole reverie

of the sage, I shall choose serenely to design

a youthful landscape idly on the cups again.

A slender line of azure blue, pale and precise

would be a lake in skies of naked porcelain,

a lucid crescent lost behind white cloud proceeds

to steep its placid horn into the waters' ice

not far from three great emerald eyelashes, the reeds.

Translated by E.H. and A.M. Blackmore