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BESIDE what lakes whose gloomy waters grieve,
O flowers of darkness vastier than death,
Do the North's cold gods and Evening's chary of breath
Your robe of shadow weave?


The sun is swallowed into your deep maw,
Your widow's veils do make the daylight blear,
And from the mournful rivers without fear
Slumber's shy wave you draw.


O dark flowers by the wind of dawn caressed,
But out of you no scent of love can breathe,
O dear ones, into hearts that madly seethe
You pour the balm of rest.


Life spreads perfidious sweets with no avail,
Spring's purple flames in vain on the young leaf,
From joy sets free your great redeeming grief;
Imperious sisters, hail!


Now let me sleep where your dark shadow covers,
I love you, and your calm I shall not fret,
And let me far from light and day forget
The crimson mouth of lovers.