Emma Lazarus (Эмма Лазарус)


Light silken curtain, colorless and soft,
Dreamlike before me floating! what abides
   Behind thy pearly veil's
   Opaque, mysterious woof?

Where sleek red kine, and dappled, crunch day-long
Thick, luscious blades and purple clover-heads,
   Nigh me I still can mark
   Cool fields of beaded grass.

No more; for on the rim of the globed world
I seem to stand and stare at nothingness.
   But songs of unseen birds
   And tranquil roll of waves

Bring sweet assurance of continuous life
Beyond this silvery cloud.  Fantastic dreams,
   Of tissue subtler still
   Than the wreathed fog, arise,

And cheat my brain with airy vanishings
And mystic glories of the world beyond.
   A whole enchanted town
   Thy baffling folds conceal--

An Orient town, with slender-steepled mosques,
Turret from turret springing, dome from dome,
   Fretted with burning stones,
   And trellised with red gold.

Through spacious streets, where running waters flow,
Sun-screened by fruit-trees and the broad-leaved palm,
   Past the gay-decked bazaars,
   Walk turbaned, dark-eyed men.

Hark! you can hear the many murmuring tongues,
While loud the merchants vaunt their gorgeous wares.
   The sultry air is spiced
   With fragrance of rich gums,

And through the lattice high in yon dead wall,
See where, unveiled, an arch, young, dimpled face,
   Flushed like a musky peach,
   Peers down upon the mart!

From her dark, ringleted and bird-poised head
She hath cast back the milk-white silken veil:
   'Midst the blank blackness there
   She blossoms like a rose.

Beckons she not with those bright, full-orbed eyes,
And open arms that like twin moonbeams gleam?
   Behold her smile on me
   With honeyed, scarlet lips!

Divine Scheherazade! I am thine.
I come!  I come!--Hark! from some far-off mosque
   The shrill muezzin calls
   The hour of silent prayer,

And from the lattice he hath scared my love.
The lattice vanisheth itself--the street,
   The mart, the Orient town;
   Only through still, soft air

That cry is yet prolonged.  I wake to hear
The distant fog-horn peal: before mine eyes
   Stands the white wall of mist,
   Blending with vaporous skies.

Elusive gossamer, impervious
Even to the mighty sun-god's keen red shafts!
   With what a jealous art
   Thy secret thou dost guard!

Well do I know deep in thine inmost folds,
Within an opal hollow, there abides
   The lady of the mist,
   The Undine of the air--

A slender, winged, ethereal, lily form,
Dove-eyed, with fair, free-floating, pearl-wreathed hair,
   In waving raiment swathed
   Of changing, irised hues.

Where her feet, rosy as a shell, have grazed
The freshened grass, a richer emerald glows:
   Into each flower-cup
   Her cool dews she distills.

She knows the tops of jagged mountain-peaks,
She knows the green soft hollows of their sides,
   And unafraid she floats
   O'er the vast-circled seas.

She loves to bask within the moon's wan beams,
Lying, night-long upon the moist, dark earth,
   And leave her seeded pearls
   With morning on the grass.

Ah! that athwart these dim, gray outer courts
Of her fantastic palace I might pass,
   And reach the inmost shrine
   Of her chaste solitude,

And feel her cool and dewy fingers press
My mortal-fevered brow, while in my heart
   She poured with tender love
   Her healing Lethe-balm!

See! the close curtain moves, the spell dissolves!
Slowly it lifts: the dazzling sunshine streams
   Upon a newborn world
   And laughing summer seas.

Swift, snowy-breasted sandbirds twittering glance
Through crystal air.  On the horizon's marge,
   Like a huge purple wraith,
   The dusky fog retreats.

Emma Lazarus’s other poems:

  1. Matins
  2. Saint Romualdo
  3. Arabesque
  4. In the Jewish Synagogue at Newport
  5. Phantasies

Poems of other poets with the same name (Стихотворения других поэтов с таким же названием):

  • Louise Guiney (Луиза Гвини) Fog (“Like bodiless water passing in a sigh”)
  • John Tabb (Джон Табб) Fog (“The ghost am I”)

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