life

The sorrow in your heart
is betrayed by a few grey hairs.
Life is like empty mountain ranges
Where snow awaits your visits;
Yet you make your solitary retreat
by the path in the wilderness.

Li Yü

poem 164

She answers suspicions in the rhetoric of tears

My love, this evening when I spoke with you,
and in your face and actions I could read
that arguments of words you would not heed,
my heart I longed to open to your view.
In this intention, Love my wishes knew
and, though they seemed impossible, achieved:
pouring in tears that sorrow had conceived,
with every beat my heart dissolved anew.
Enough of suffering, my love, enough:
let jealousy’s vile tyranny be banned,
let no suspicious thought your calm corrupt
with foolish gloom by futile doubt enhanced,
for now, this afternoon, you saw and touched
my heart, dissolved and liquid in your hands.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

lyric monody

In spring time the Kydonian
quinces, watered by running streams,
there where the maiden nymphs have
their secret garden, and grapes that grow
round in shade of the tendriled vine,
ripen.

Now in this season for me
there is no rest from love.
Out of the hard bright sky,
a Thracian north wind blowing
with searing rages and hurt—dark,
pitiless, sent by Aphrodite—Love
rocks and tosses my heart.

Ibycus

pax animae

Speak to me no more of earthly pleasures
which I do not wish to savor. My heart
is already dead, and only the ravens of death
will enter its opened chambers.

I have no traces of the past upon me,
and sometimes I am not sure of whether I exist,
since to me life is a desert
peopled with spectral figures.

I see only a planet darkened
by the mists of drizzling twilight,
and, in the silence of profound drowsiness,

My ears only discern something
strange, indistinct, mysterious,
which drags me very far from this world.

José Julián Herculano del Casal y de la Lastra

nocturne

Silence of the night, painful silence,
Nocturne . . . Why does my soul tremble like this?
I hear the low hum of my blood.
I watch a calm storm pass inside my skull.
Insomnia! Not to sleep, and perchance
to dream. To be the whole soliloquy
of spiritual dissection, my Hamlet-I!
To dissolve my sadness
in one night’s wine,
in the marvelous crystal darkness . . .
And then I wonder: When will it be dawn?
A door just closed . . .
Someone is passing on the street . . .
The clock strikes three … It must be Her!

Rubén Darío

there is weeping in my heart …

It rains gently on the town.
Arthur Rimbaud

There is weeping in my heart
as it rains on the town.
What languor is this
that pierces my heart?

O gentle noise of the rain
on the ground and the roofs!
For a heart that is troubled,
O the song of the rain!

There is no cause for weeping
in this sickened heart.
What! No treason?
This sorrow has no cause.

Indeed, it is the worst grief
not to know why,
without love or hate,
my heart has so much grief.

Paul Verlaine

sensibility

Why is a heart
attached to cherry blossoms
still in this body
which, I thought,
had forsaken the world?

Saigyô

emperor

In the tranquil sun of spring
A lark soars singing;
Sad is my burdened heart,
Thoughtful and alone…

Yakamochi

eternal palace

But now, though I am told his royal palace towered here,
And they say here rose its lofty halls,
Only the spring weeds grow luxuriantly
And the spring sun is dimmed with mists.
As I see these ruins of the mighty palace
My heart is heavy with sorrows!

Kakinomoto Hitomaro

immortal heart

We have become drunk and our heart has departed, it has
fled from us — whither has it gone?
When it saw that the chain of reason was broken,
immediately my heart took to flight.
It will not have gone to any other place, it has departed to
the seclusion of God.
Seek it not in the house, for it is of the air;
it is a bird of the air, and has gone into the air.
It is the white falcon of the Emperor; it has taken flight, and
departed to the Emperor.

Rumi