Dream (Vis)

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.

Dream (Vis)

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