Thomas Schall - Lauten

A Night on the Mountain

I sat upon the mountain-side and watched
A tiny barque that skimmed across the lake,
Drifting, like human destiny upon
A world of hidden peril; then she sailed
From out my ken, and mingled with the blue
Of skies unfathomed, while the great round sun
Weakened towards the waves.
The whole expanse
Suddenly in the half-light of the dusk
Glimmered and waned. The last rays of the sun
Lit but the tops of trees and mountain-peaks
With tarnished glory; and the water's sheen,
Once blue and bright, grew lustreless, and soon
A welter of red clouds alone betrayed
The passing of the sun. The scattered isles
Uprose, black-looming o'er the tranquil deeps,
Where the reflected heavens wanly showed
A lingering gleam. Already wood and hill
Sank in obscurity. The river marge
Seemed but a broken line to failing sight.

Night is at hand; the night winds fret afar,
The North winds moan. The waterfowl are gone
To cover o'er the sand-dunes; dawn alone
Shall call them from the sedges. Some bright star

Mirrors her charms upon the silver shoal;
And I have ta'en the lute, my only friend:
The vibrant chords beneath my fingers blend;
They sob awhile, then as they slip control

Immortal memories awake, and the dead years
Through deathless voices answer to my strings,
Till from the brink of Time's untarnished springs
The melting night recalls me with her tears.

Ts`en-Ts`an