To a Young Widow

To a Young Widow!

Lida, true and loyal friend,
through my shallow sleep beside you,
tired and happy from our love,
I can hear you sighing – why?
Why, too, when I’m burning fiercely
in intensity of passion,
do I notice now and then
that you’re shedding secret tears?
And you listen, absent-minded,
to my ardent declarations;
cold the gaze with which you watch me,
cold your hand when pressing mine.
Dearest friend beyond all value,
will there be an end to tears,
will there be an end to calling
your late husband from the grave?
Trust me: for those held in death-sleep
there’s no reawakening ever;
sweet voice brings them no more sweetness,
cry of grief grieves them no more.
Not for them the rose-decked coffin,
new day dawning, noisy wake,
heartfelt tears of gathered friends,
shattered lovers’ choked farewell.
Yes, your not-to-be-forgotten
friend too early breathed his last
and in blissful exaltation
fell asleep upon your breast:
crown now won, in joy he slumbers.
Yield to love: we’re innocent.
No one with a jealous grudge will
come to us from nether darkness;
10
thunderbolts won’t fall at midnight;
nor will any wrathful phantom
up on two young lovers creep,
startling them too soon from sleep.

To a Young Widow

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