Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE, by VALERY YAKOVLEVICH BRYUSOV



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ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Can I hear your soft step treading
Last Line: Through the shades re-echoes back.
Alternate Author Name(s): Brusov, Valery Yakovlevich
Subject(s): Eurydice (Nymph); Mythology - Classical; Orpheus


ORPHEUS

CAN I hear your soft step treading,
Hear behind me your soft tread?
A rebellious way we're threading,
Life's pale pathway from the dead.

EURYDICE

Yours to see, but mine to hearken;
I must pace on, I must pace,
Though my face the black clouds darken,
Death's black veil upon my face.

ORPHEUS

Upward, upward, each step takes us
To the noise, the world, the sun;
There the shadow's gloom forsakes us,
There my love will make us one.

EURYDICE

No, I dare not, no, I dare not,
Husband, brother, friend to me;
I am a faint shadow; stare not --
Just a shadow you will see.

ORPHEUS

Trust me. At the end awaited,
Like me, you shall greet the spring.
I, with God's lyre consecrated,
Songs of life for you shall sing.

EURYDICE

What can songs avail me, -- knowing
Quiet that no words can tell?
What is spring, -- who knew the sowing
In the land of asphodel?

ORPHEUS

Ah, remember the green meadows,
Laughing song and dancing feet,
Ah, remember secret shadows,
Hot embraces, shy and sweet!

EURYDICE

Dead my heart, my breast unshaken, --
How believe in your caress?
I remember sleep, -- your spoken
Words, poor friend, are meaningless.

ORPHEUS

Not remember! You forget me!
Every moment I retrace.
Not the grave itself will let me
Be forgetful of your face.

EURYDICE

I recall, poor friend, sweet pleasure,
And love too, like gentle sleep ...
But in darkness without measure
Your pale face I cannot keep.

ORPHEUS

Look at it!
and Orpheus madly
Turns it to the empty black, --
And her name repeated, sadly
Through the shades re-echoes back.





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