Those voices are the sweeter which have fallen
forever silent, mournfully
resounding only in the heart that sorrows.
In dreams the melancholic voices come,
timorous and humble,
and bring before our feeble memory
the precious dead, whom the cold cold earth
conceals; for whom the mirthful
daybreak never shines, nor springtimes blossom.
Melodious voices sigh; and in the soul
our life’s first poetry
sounds — like music, in the night, that’s far away.
Imagined voices, and beloved, too,
of those who died, or of those who are
lost unto us like the dead.
Sometimes in our dreams they speak to us;
sometimes in its thought the mind will hear them.
And with their sound for a moment there return
sounds from the first poetry of our life—
like music, in the night, far off, that fades away.
Translated by Daniel Mendelsohn