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Best Famous Mihai Eminescu Poems

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by Mihai Eminescu |


What is love ? A lifetime spent  
Of days that pain does fill, 
That thousand tears can't content, 
But asks for tears still. 

With but a little glance coquet 
Your soul it knows to tie, 
That of its spell you can't forget 
Until the day you die. 

Upon your threshold does it stand, 
In every nook conspire, 
That you may whisper hand in hand 
Your tale of heart's aspire. 

Till fades the very earth and sky, 
Your heart completely broken, 
And all the world hangs on a sigh, 
A word but partly spoken. 

It follows you for weeks and weeks 
And in your soul assembles 
The memory of blushing cheeks 
And eyelash fair that trembles. 

It comes to you a sudden ray 
As though of starlight's spending, 
How many and many a time each day 
And every night unending. 

For of your life has fate decreed 
That pain shall it enfold, 
As does the clinging water-weed 
About a swimmer hold. 
English version by Corneliu M. Popescu
Transcribed by Alina Micu
School No. 10, Focsani, Romania

by Mihai Eminescu |


With life's tomorrow time you grasp, 
Its yesterdays you fling away, 
And still, in spite of all remains 
Its long eternity, today. 

When one thing goes, another comes 
In this wide world by heaven borne; 
And when the sun is setting here 
'Tis somewhere else just breaking dawn. 

It seems somehow that other waves 
Are rolling down the same old stream, 
And somehow, tough the autumns change, 
'Tis but the same leaves fall it seem. 

Before our night does ever ride 
The queen of mornings rosy skies; 
While even death is but a guess, 
Of life a notion, a surmise. 

Of every moment that goes by 
One fact each mortal creature knows; 
The universe is poised in time  
And whirling round for ever goes. 

Still, though this year will fly away 
And soon but to the bygone add, 
Within your soul you ever hold 
Each thing of worth you ever had. 

With life's tomorrow time you grasp, 
Its yesterday you fling away, 
And still, in spite of all remains 
Its long eternity, today. 

A radiant and brilliant view, 
In many rapid glimpses caught, 
Of infinite, unending calm, 
Bathed in the rays of timeless thought. 
English version by Corneliu M. Popescu
Transcribed by Liviu Buftea
School No. 10, Focsani, Romania

by Mihai Eminescu |


"O remain, dear one, I love you, 
Stay with me in my fair land, 
For your dreamings and longings 
Only I can understand. 

You, who like a prince reclining 
O'er the pool with heaven starred; 
You who gaze up from the water 
With such earnest deep regard. 

Stay, for where the lapping wavelets 
Shake the tall and tasseled grass, 
I will make you hear in secret 
How the furtive chamois pass. 

Oh, I see you wrapped in magic, 
Hear your murmur low and sweet, 
As you break the shallow water 
With your slender naked feet; 

See you thus amidst the ripples 
Which the moon's pale beams engage, 
And your years seem but an instant, 
And each instant seems an age." 

Thus spake the woods in soft entreaty; 
Arching boughs above me bent, 
But I whistled high, and laughing 
Out into the open went. 

Now though e'en I roamed that country 
How could I its charm recall... 
Where has boyhood gone, I wonder, 
With its pool and woods and all? 
English version by Corneliu M. Popescu
Transcribed by Gabriela Brancovici
School No. 10, Focsani, Romania

by Mihai Eminescu |


Of all the ships the ocean rolls 
   How many find untimely graves 
Piled high by you upon the shoals, 
   O waves and winds, o winds and waves? 

How many a bird that leaves its bower 
   And o'er the sky in autumn draves 
You beat and blindly  overpower, 
   O winds and waves, o waves and winds?  

Should easy luck or high endeavour 
   Be our aim it little saves, 
For you pursue our footsteps ever, 
   O waves and winds, o winds and waves. 

Still, it is past our comprehending 
   What design your song enslaves, 
Rolling on until time's ending, 
   O winds and waves, o waves and winds. 
English version by Corneliu M. Popescu
Transcribed by Oana Platon
10th class A
Alexandru Papiu Ilarian " Highschool Dej, Romania
Teacher coordinator: Cornelia Platon

by Mihai Eminescu |


"Forest, trusted friend and true, 
Forest dear, how do you do? 
Since the day i saw you last 
Many, many years have passed 
And though you still steadfast stand 
I have traveled many a land." 

"Yea, and I, what have I done? 
Watched the years their seasons run; 
Heard the squalls that through me groan 
Ere my singing birds have flown; 
Heard the creaking of my bough 
Neath the mounted winter snows. 
Yea indeed, what have I done? 
Done as I have always done; 
Felt my summer leaves re-growing, 
Heard the village girls who going 
By the path that meets the spring 
Melancholy do in a sing." 

"Forest, though the tempests blow, 
The years come and the years go, 
And the seasons wax and wane, 
You are ever young again." 

"What of seasons, when for ages 
All the sky my lake engages; 
What of years ill or good, 
When the sap mounts in the wood; 
What of years or ill, 
When the Danube rolls on still. 
Only man is always changing, 
O'er the world forever ranging; 
We each do our place retain, 
As we were, so we remain; 
Oceans, rivers, mountains high 
And the stars that light the sky, 
Saturn with its whirling rings, 
And the forest with its springs." 
English version by Corneliu M. Popescu
Transcribed by Cristinel Sebe
School No. 10, Focsani, Romania

by Mihai Eminescu |


One wish alone have I: 
In some calm land 
Beside the sea to die; 
Upon its strand 
That I forever sleep, 
The forest near, 
A heaven clear 
Stretched o'er the peaceful deep. 
No candles shine, 
Nor tomb I need, instead 
Let them for me a bed 
Of twigs entwine. 

That no one weeps my end, 
Nor for me grieves, 
But let the autumn lend 
Tongues to the leaves, 
When brooklet ripples fall 
With murmuring sound, 
And moon is found 
Among the pine-trees tall, 
While softly rings 
The wind its trembling chime 
And over me the lime 
Its blossom flings. 

As I will then no more 
A wanderer be, 
Let them with fondness store 
My memory. 
And Lucifer the while, 
Above the pine, 
Good comrade mine, 
Will on me gently smile; 
In mournful mood, 
The sea sing sad refrain. . . 
And I be earth again 
In solitude. 
English version by Corneliu M. Popescu
Transcribed by Oana Dumitrache
School No. 10, Focsani, Romania

by Mihai Eminescu |


O mother, darling mother, lost in time's formless haze 
Amidst the leaves' sweet rustle you call my name always; 
Amidst their fluttering murmur above your sacred grave  
I hear you softly whisper whene'er the branches wave; 
While o'er your tomb the willows their autumn raiment heap... 
For ever wave the branches, and you for ever sleep. 

When l shall die, beloved, do not beside me mourn, 
But break a branch of blossom that does the lime adorn, 
And take it very softly, and plant it at my head; 
I'll feel its shadow growing as on the soil it's shed; 
And watered by the tears that you for sorrow weep... 
For ever grow that shadow, and l for ever sleep. 

And should it be together that we shall die one day, 
They shall not in some cemet'ry our separate bodies lay, 
But let them dig a grave near where the river flows 
And in a single coffin them both together close; 
That l to time eternal my love beside me keep... 
For ever wail the water, and we for ever sleep. 
English version by Corneliu M. Popescu
Transcribed by Alexandru Grosu
School No. 10, Focsani, Romania

by Mihai Eminescu |


On the pond bright sparks are falling, 
Wavelets in the sunlight glisten ; 
Gazing on the woods with rapture , 
Do I let my spirit capture 
Drowsiness, and lie and listen... 
Quails are calling.  

All the silent water sleeping 
Of the streams and of the rivers ; 
Only where the sun is shining 
Thousand circles there designing 
As with fright its surface shivers, 
Swiftly leaping.  

Pipe the birds midst woods concealing, 
Which of us their language guessing ? 
Birds of endless kinds and races 
Chirp amidst its leafy places 
And what wisdom they expressing 
And what feeling.  

Asks the cuckoo: "Who has seen 
Our beloved summer idol , 
Beautiful beyond all praising 
Through her languid lashes gazing, 
Pur most lovely, tender, bridal, 
Forest queen ?"  

Bends the lime with gentle care 
Her sweet body to embower ; 
In the breeze his branches singing 
Lift her in their arms upswinging, 
While a hundred blossoms shower 
On her hair.  

Asks the brooklet as it flows : 
" Where has gone my lovely lady ?  
She, who evening hour beguiling, 
In my silver surface smiling, 
Broke its mirror deep and shady 
With her toes ?"  

I replied:" O forest, she  
Comes no more, no more returning ! 
Only you, great oaks, still dreaming 
Violet eyes, like flowers gleaming, 
That the summer through were yearning 
Just for me."  

Happy then, alone we twain, 
Through the forest brush-wood striding ! 
Sweet enchanted tale of wonder 
That the darkness broke asunder... 
Dear, wherever you'd be hiding, 
Come again !  

English version by Corneliu M. Popescu
Transcribed by Monica Dima
School No. 10, Focsani, Romania

by Mihai Eminescu |


Two candles, tall sentry, beside an earth mound, 
A dream with wings broken that trail to the ground,  
Loud flung from the belfry calamitous chime... 
'Tis thus that you passed o'er the bound'ries of time. 

Gone by are the hours when the heavens entire 
Flowed rivers of milk and grew flowers of fire, 
When the thunderous clouds were but castles erect 
Which the moon like a queen each in turn did inspect. 

I see you a shadow bright silver transcending, 
With wings high uplifted to heaven ascending, 
I see you slow climbing through the sky's scaffold bars 
Midst a tempest of light and a snowstorm of stars; 

While the witches the sound of their spinning prolong, 
Exalted in sunshine, swept up by a song, 
O'er your breast like a saint you white arms crossed in prayer, 
And gold on the water, and silver in the air. 

I see your soul's parting, its flight I behold; 
Then glaze at the clay that remains ... mute and cold, 
At the winding-sheet clung to the coffin's rude sill, 
At your smile sweet and candid, that seems alive still. 

And i ask times unending my soul torn with doubt, 
O why, pallid angel, your light has gone out, 
For were you not blameless and wonderfully fair ? 
Have you gone to rekindle a star in despair ? 

I fancy on high there are wings without name, 
Broad rivers of fire spanned by bridges of flame, 
Strange castles that spires till the zenith up fling, 
With stairways of incense and flowers that sing. 

And you wonder among them, a worshipful queen, 
With hair of bright starlight and eyes vespertine, 
In a tunic of turquoise bespattered with gold, 
While a wreath of green laurels does your forehead enfold. 

O, death is a chaos, an ocean of stars gleaming,  
While life is a quagmire of doubts and of dreaming, 
Oh, death is an aeon of sun-blazoned spheres, 
While life but a legend of wailing and tears. 

Trough my head beats a whirlwind, a clamorous wrangle 
Of thoughts and of dreams that despair does entangle; 
For when suns are extinguished and meteors fail 
The whole universe seems to mean nothing at all. 

Maybe that one day the arched heavens will sunder, 
And down through their break all the emptiness thunder, 
Void's night o'er the earth its vast nothing extending, 
The loot of an instant of death without ending.  

If so, then forever your flame did succumb, 
And forever your voice from today will be dumb. 
If so, then hereafter can bring no rebirth. 
If so, then this angel was nothing but earth. 

And thus, lovely soil that breath has departed, 
I stand by your coffin alone broken-hearted; 
And yet i don't weep, rather praise for its fleeing 
Your ray softly crept from this chaos of being. 

For who shell declare which is ill and which well, 
The is, or the isn't ? Can anyone tell ? 
For he who is not, even grief can't destroy, 
And oft is the grieving, and seldom the joy. 

To exist! O, what nonsense, what foolish conceit; 
Our eyes but deceive us, our ears but cheat, 
What this age discovers, the next will deny, 
For better just nothing than naught a lie. 

I see dreams in men's clothing that after dreams chase, 
But that tumble in tombs ere the end of the race, 
And i search in may soul how this horror to fly, 
To laugh like a madman ? To curse ? Or to cry ? 

O, what is the meaning ? What sense does agree ? 
The end of such beauty, had that what to be ? 
Sweet seraph of clay where still lingers life's smile, 
Just in order to die did you live for a while ? 

O, tell me the meaning. This angel or clod ? 
I find on her forehead no witness of God. 

English version by Corneliu M. Popescu
Transcribed by Ana- Maria Ene
School No. 10, Focsani, Romania

by Mihai Eminescu |


'Tis eve on the hillside, the bagpipes are distantly wailing, 
Flocks going homewards, and stars o'er the firmament sailing, 
Sound of the bubbling spring sorrow's legend narrating, 
And beneath a tall willow for me, dear one, you are waiting. 

The wandering moon up the heavens her journey is wending, 
Big-eyed you watch through the boughs her gold lantern ascending,  
Now over the dome of the sky all the planets are gleaming, 
And heavy your breast with its longing, your brow with its dreaming. 

Cornfields bright flooded with beams by the clouds steeply drifted, 
Old cottage gables of thatch to the moonlight uplifted, 
The tall wooden arm of the well in the wind softly grating, 
And the shepherd-boy's pipe from the sheep-pen sad "doina" relating. 

The peasants, their scythes on their backs, from their labour are coming, 
The sound of the "toaca" its summons more loudly is drumming, 
While the clang of the village church bell fills the evening entire, 
And with longing for you like a faggot my soul is on fire. 

O, soon will the village be silent and scarce a light burning, 
O, soon eager steps to the hillside again I'll be turning, 
And all the night long I will clasp you in love's hungry fashion, 
And in secret we'll tell to each other the tale of our passion. 

Till at last we will fall fast asleep neath the shade of that willow, 
Your lips drawn aside in a smile and your breast for my pillow, 
O, to live one such beautiful night all these wonders fulfilling 
And barter the rest of existence, who would not be willing? 

English version by Corneliu M. Popescu
Transcribed by Catalina Stoica
School No. 10, Focsani, Romania