by Mihai Eminescu
translated by Ștefan Bolea
What a strange dream I’ve had, but dreams
Are fabrications of the sleep:
The night’s mind makes them up,
And they’re told by the black mouths of the night.
Floating on a river. Sickly shimmers
Fancifully pass from wave to wave
The night of groves behind me
The royal dome in front.
On the enchanted island
Black sacred vaults arise
Moon gleams above long walls
Filling the corners with shade.
I climb the stairs and enter
Deep silence meets my step.
Through dark I see high
Saintly figures over the altar screen.
Under the great vault a single
Fire seed just shining;
In front of it a cross
And darkness in any other spot.
From the above choir is falling
The saddest song on cold walls.
As a devout lamentation
For the eternal slumber.
Through the sad noise I glimpse
Softly, beneath the veil, a sleeping face
With a torch in his left –
Dressed in white royal garment.
And the eyes freeze in my head
And dread renders me silent
I tear the veil from his face
Shuddering – standing still – it’s me.
From then the days have been nights to me
Often forgetting what I’m saying;
I keep whispering unknown words
It’s like I’m waiting for something – dying?
* Traducerea a fost realizată în cadrul Programului Atelierele FILIT pentru traducători, 2023, Memorialului Ipoteşti – Centrul Naţional de Studii Mihai Eminescu. / Translation realized within the framework of the FILIT Workshops for Translators Programme, 2023, Ipotești Memorial – Mihai Eminescu National Centre for Studies.