The Book of the Homeless/The New Spring

The Book of the Homeless  (1916) 
Translation: "The New Spring"
by Émile Verhaeren, translated by Edith Wharton



Sadly your dear voice said:

"Is the old spring-time dead,
And shall we never see
New leaves upon the tree?

"Shall the black wings of war
Blot out sun, moon and star,
And never a bud unfold
To the bee its secret gold?

"Where are the wind-flowers streaked,
And the wayward bramble shoots.
And the black-birds yellow-beaked
With a note like woodland flutes?"

No flower shall bloom this year
But the wild flame of fear
Wreathing the evil night
With burst of deadly light.
No splendour of petals red
But that which the cannon shed,
Raining their death-bloom down
On farm and tower and town.

This is the scarlet doom
By the wild sea-winds hurled
Over a land of gloom,
Over a grave-strewn world.

Émile Verhaeren