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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Separation
By Sully Prudhomme (René François Armand Prudhomme) (1839–1907)
 
Translation of E. and R. E. Prothero

WE wandered down, at dawn of day,
  A narrow path—heart close to heart;
At noon, upon the world’s highway,
  I walk to right, you left—apart.
 
No more we have our heaven together.        5
  How bright is yours! How black is mine!
Your choice is still the sunniest weather,
  I keep the side where naught will shine.
 
Where’er you walk, gleams round you play—
  The very sand has diamond beads;        10
No beams e’er light with gladdening ray
  The cold gray soil my footstep treads.
 
Bird-songs and whispers full of sweets,
  Caressing, woo your eye and ear;
Your hair the breeze, adoring, greets;        15
  Your lip the bee, entranced, draws near.
 
And I—I can but sing and sigh;
  My heart’s deep wound is ill at ease;
From leaf-hid nests the fondling cry
  Disturbs me more than it can please.        20
 
But Love! a sky forever bright
  May make too keen our mortal joy;
The air’s embrace has too much might;
  The incense e’en of flowers may cloy.
 
Then yearns the soul for that calm rest        25
  That closes round at closing day,
With half-shut eye, on some true breast
  To watch Life’s fever ebb away.
 
Will you not come and take your seat
  By that highway at evening-fall?        30
I’ll wait you there. We two shall meet
  Where one deep shadow wraps it all.
 
 
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