Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE REEDS, by KONSTANTIN DMITRIYEVICH BALMONT

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THE REEDS, by            
First Line: When midnight has come to the desolate fen
Last Line: Rises up from the reeds in soft sorrowful sighs.

WHEN midnight has come to the desolate fen,
Almost unheard is the reeds' rustle then.

What do they whisper, and what do they say?
Why are the marshlingts among them at play?

They glimmer and shimmer and vanish from sight;
Then again is rekindled that wandering light.

When midnight has come, the reeds sway and shake;
They shelter the toad and the hiss of the snake.

Over the marsh flits a face dying fast --
'Tis the lead-coloured moon who is sad and downcast.

In an odour of slime the mists stealthily creep ...
The marshland entices, devours and sucks deep.

"But whom? for what reason?" the reeds seem to say,
"Why are the marshlights among us at play?"

But the lead-coloured moon, who is sad and downcast,
Knows nothing and sinks till her face fades at last,

And the echoing sob of a soul as it dies
Rises up from the reeds in soft sorrowful sighs.

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