The Lake

By Daryl Hine

dans le simple appareil
D’une beauté qu’on vient d’arracher au sommeil.

Smoothed by sleep and ruffled by your dreams
The surface of the little lake
Fed by unconscious tributary streams,
Unbroken by the breezes nightmares make,
Like your face looks fathomless and seems
Bottomless till light or noises wake.
You move and murmur and almost awake.

I admire but do not wish to enter,
Like any wanderer beside
Moonlit water in midwinter
Who as a simulacrum for the tide
Casting a pebble into the calm centre
Watches the circles spread from side to side.
I wait for you and morning at your side.

Such sources feed the mirror of your mind,
I dare not touch the surface of your sleep.
But to love by ignorance resigned,
Infatuated guardian, I keep
Watch beside a fountain where I find
No image, for images too deep,
Above your breathing regular and deep.

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