Where are they now, the loved ones of the past?
When I am dead, who’ll sing their requiem?
How long, how long will these dim shadows last?
When I am dust, who will remember them?
The two I loved the dearest nurtured me:
A charming father, faithful to the end;
A caring mother who loved and breastfed me—
She’s with me still, though dead, my closest friend.
Two others I loved, lost on the world’s wind,
Tossed into different lives in distant lands.
Who will call them to account if they sinned?
—We all sink slowly in the same quicksands.
I have no answers. I, too, soon must sink,
As each day brings me closer to the brink.
— § —
WHEN THE NIGHTINGALE SINGS NO MORE
These questions vex the mind: ‘Where are they?’
‘Where’s true love gone?’ And, ‘How much longer?’
‘Where are the songs of yesterday?’
The hardest question, last—’Why linger?’
Immortal longings!—All that’s left
When the nightingale sings no more:
When body and soul are bereft,
And nobody knocks at your door.