to Maurice Maeterlinck
Weird phantoms rise in the dawn-winds blow,
In the land of shadows the dawn-flowers grow;
The night-worn moon yields her weary glow
To the morn-rays that over the dream-waste flow.
Oh, to know what the dawn-wind murmurs
In chapels of pines to the ashen moons;
What the forest-well whispers to dale and dell
With her singular, reticent runes;
To know the plaint of each falling leaf
As it whirls across the autumnal plain;
To know the dreams of the desolate shore
As sails, like ghosts, pass o’er the dawnlit main!
To know, oh, to know
Why all life’s strains have the same refrain
As of rain,
Beating sadly against the window pane.
We do not know and we can not know,
And all that is left for us here below
(Since "songs and singers are out of date")
And the muses have met with a similar fate)
Is to flee to the land of shadows and dreams,
Where the dawn-flowers grow
And the dawn-winds blow,
As morn-rays over life’s dream-waste of flow
To drown the moon in their ambient glow.
Oh, gray dawn-poet of Flanders,
Though in this life we ne’er may meet,
I'll linger where thy dream-maids wander
To strew these dawn-flowers at their feet.
From Drifting Flowers of the Sea and Other Poems (1904) by Sadakichi Hartmann. This poem is in the public domain.