Whence cometh such tender rapture?
Those curls—they are not the first ones
I’ve smoothened, and I’ve already
Known lips—that were darker than yours.

The stars have risen and faded,
—Whence cometh such tender rapture?—
And eyes have risen and faded 
In face of these eyes of mine

I’d never yet hearkened unto
Such songs in the depths of darkness,
—Whence cometh such tender rapture?—
My head on the bard’s own breast

Whence cometh such tender rapture?
And what’s to be done with it, artful
Young vagabound, passing minstrel
With lashes—too long to say.

18 February 1916

English translation, translator’s introduction and translator’s notes copyright © 2003 by Northwestern University Press. Reprinted by permission of Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.