Moth and Candle
|Why is the moth your lover, O flame,|
Giving life in a yielding move?
|You make its ways the quicksilver’s ways.|
You taught it, what rites of love?
|The creature circles around your flare.|
How burnt in your flash of sight!
|Does it know life’s peace in the throes of death?|
Life endures in your ardour bright?
|Had your lustre not been in the world’s house of woe|
The tree of hot love had not been green.
|Moth sinks before you making its prayer,|
Frail heart to feel scorching keen.
|It must throb like one loving the beauty of old:|
Small prophet! small mountain of fire!
|The moth with its urge to envisage the flame!|
Poor worm, with its light’s desire!
Translated by: H.T. Sorley