Sep 092016
 

moth-to-solar-flameI remember one night lying sleepless in bed,
That I heard what the moth to the fair candle said:
“A lover am I, if I burn it is well!
Why you should lie weeping and burning, do tell.”
“Oh my poor humble lover!” the caudle replied,
“My friend, the sweet honey away from we hied.
When sweetness away from my body departs,
A fire-like Farhads to my summit then starts.”
Thus she spoke, and each movement a torrent of pain
Adown her pale cheeks trickled freely like rain.
“Oh, suitor! with love you have nothing to do,
Since nor patience, nor power of standing have you.
Oh, crude one! a flame makes you hasten away;
But I, till completely consumed, have to stay.
If the burning of love makes your wings feel this heat,
See how I am consumed, from the head to the feet!”
But a very small portion had passed of the night
When a fairy-fated maiden extinguished her light.
She was saying while smoke from her head curled above,
“Thus ends, oh my boy, the existence of love!”
If the love-making science you wish to acquire,
You’re more happy extinguished than being on fire.
Do not weep o’er the grave of the slain for the friend:
Be glad! for to him lie will mercy extend.
If a lover, don’t wash the complaint from your head!

******
I have told you: don’t enter this ocean at all!
If you do; yield your life to the hurricane squall!

Conversation between the Candle and the Moth, translation G S Davie

Nov 192010
 

Out of this wood do not desire to go:

Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.

I am a spirit of no common rate;

The summer still doth tend upon my state;

And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;

I’ll give thee fairies to attend on thee;

And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,

And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep:

And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,

That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.

Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! Mustardseed!

Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;

Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes;

Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,

With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;

The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,

And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs,

And light them at the fiery glow-worm’s eyes,

To haev my love to bed and to arise;

And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,

To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:

Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Jul 202010
 

I went out to the hazelwood,

Because a fire was in my head,

And cut and peeled a hazel wand,

And hooked a berry to a thread.

And when white moths were on the wing

And moth-like stars were flickering out,

I dropped the berry in a stream

And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor

I went to blow the fire aflame,

But something rustled on the floor,

And someone called me by my name.

It had become a glimmering girl

With apple blossom in her hair

Who called me by my name and ran

And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering

Through hollow lands and hilly lands,

I will find out where she has gone,

And kiss her lips and take her hands;

And walk amongst dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.

William Butler Yeats, The Song of Wandering Aegnus