The Wanderer's Harp

I have been roaming on for days and days.
Ensnared in days, I wander on and on,
Whole days along my destined roads and ways,
As long as I am able, till I'm gone.

In morning's garden I found flowers sweet;
I trampled many of them as I went,
Yet briars – even more of them I met.
My gains were small, compared with what I spent.

It dawned on me through agony and fears
How blind it is, the universal mind;
Though all night long I listen to the stars
No harmony among them do I find.

Ah man, it is not given you to see
What lasts an hour, and what goes on for aye;
And where you, too, a droplet in a sea,
Are sent to quail, and wherefrom do you hail...

And so with drooping heart and downcast head
Prostrate, I wait and wait, all gloom despite,
For somebody to offer me his aid
To solve the riddle set by dark and light.

Translated by Dorian Rottenberg
(Contributed by daniel on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011)
 
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