(Translated by JAMES E. FALEN)
I'm writing you this declaration-
What more can I in candour say?
It may be now your inclination
To scorn me and to turn away;
But if my hapless situation
Evokes some pity for my woe,
You won't abandon me, I know.
I first tried silence and evasion;
Believe me, you 'd have never learned
My secret shame, had I discerned
The slightest hope that on occasion-
But once a week-I'd see your face,
Behold you at our country place,
Might hear you speak a friendly greeting,
Could say a word to you; and then,
Could dream both day and night again
Of but one thing, till our next meeting.
They say you like to be alone
And find the country unappealing;
We lack, I know, a worldly tone,
But still, we welcome you with feeling.
Why did you ever come to call?
In this forgotten country dwelling
I'd not have known you then at all,
Nor known this bitter heartache's swelling.
Perhaps, when time had helped in quelling
The girlish hopes on which I fed,
I might have found (who knows?) another
And been a faithful wife and mother,
Contented with the life I led.
Another! No! In all creation
There's no one else whom I'd adore;
The heavens chose my destination
And made me thine for evermore!
My life till now has been a token In pledge of meeting you, my friend;
And in your coming, God has spoken,
You'll be my guardian till the end…
You filled my dreams and sweetest trances;
As yet unseen, and yet so dear,
You stirred me with your wondrous glances,
Your voice within my soul rang clear…
And then the dream came true for me!
When you came in, I seemed to waken,
I turned to flame, I felt all shaken,
And in my heart I cried: It's he!
And was it you I heard replying
Amid the stillness of the night,
Or when I helped the poor and dying,
Or turned to heaven, softly crying,
And said a prayer to soothe my plight?
And even now, my dearest vision,
Did I not see your apparition
Flit softly through this lucent night?
Was it not you who seemed to hover
Above my bed, a gentle lover,
To whisper hope and sweet delight?
Are you my angel of salvation
Or hell's own demon of temptation?
Be kind and send my doubts away;
For this may all be mere illusion,
The things a simple girl would say,
While Fate intends no grand conclusion…
So be it then! Henceforth I place
My faith in you and your affection;
I plead with tears upon my face
And beg you for your kind protection.
You cannot know: I'm so alone,
There's no one here to whom I've spoken,
My mind and will are almost broken,
And I must die without a moan.
I wait for you… and your decision:
Revive my hopes with but a sign,
Or halt this heavy dream of mine-
Alas, with well-deserved derision!
I close. I dare not now reread…
I shrink with shame and fear.
But surely, Your honour's all the pledge I need,
And I submit to it securely.