Poet Lore/Volume 24/Number 5/The Nymph

For works with similar titles, see Longing.
For other versions of this work, see Longing (Coates).

THE NYMPH

 

By Maxim Gorki

 

(Translated from the Russian by J. Vital DePorte and Roy Temple House)

 

A nymph lived long about a stream
Till once, when seines were set,
She floated in a blissful dream
Straight down against the net.
The fishermen were dull with fear
And whispered: ‘What is this?’
But one, young Marco, ventured near
And met her with a kiss.
Lithe as a slender willow wand,
As quickly reconciled,
She met his gaze with glances fond,
Caressed him back, and smiled.
She fondled him the livelong day,
But when the night came on
The winsome creature slipped away—
And Marco’s joy was gone.
He wandered where the river laves
Its wooded bank, and cried:
‘Where is she?’ to the passing waves.
‘Who knows?’ the waves replied.
‘’Tis false!’ he raged, ‘You know full well
This is her native shore.’
And plunged beneath a mocking swell
To find his nymph once more.
The nymph sports on, as women will,
And nothing brings to mind
Poor Marco lost and dead. But still
He left a song behind,
And you who safely live on land
Where poor blind worms belong,
Your deeds will move no poet’s hand,
Your name inspire no song.

Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.
Original:

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.


The author died in 1936, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

 
Translation:

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).