The lonely lamp
Whoso is broken-hearted dreads vigil by the lonely lamp.
As musingly I watch my shadow, lonely and cold, my spirit breaks within me.
Now that my coverlet and my pillow are so lorn: I have naught whereon I can rely.
O shadow, voiceless and wordless! To whom wouldst thou have me vent my sorrow?
Though thou, O shadow! An I make two together, yet that is poor comfort for my grief.
I were better grasp a cup, that thus with my shadow we may be three.
I love thee, I love thee, shadow! Because thou quittest me neither in life nor death, so close is thy companionship.
Even at heaven’s verge and ocean’s corners, thou and I would find it hard to part.
My lord, maybe though now in loneliness I watch the silver lamp, yet our hearts have each the imprint of the other.
I grieve, I do not grieve that I cannot despatch my shadow to consult with you.
I were fain you could meet my shadow and for a while recognize therein my soul.
Ah! My heart is ill-content.
Whether in dream or sleep it is hard to approach thee.
I will feign that I see the lamp-snuff – omen that we shall ever be in each other’s slight. I must not face my shadow as if wounded in spirit.