The Soul Of A Century/To a white house in the old garden

For works with similar titles, see Dream.
The Soul Of A Century  (1943) 
To a white house in the old garden
by Adolf Heyduk, translated by Roderick Aldrich Ginsburg


A wanderer paused upon his weary way
And in fatigue, leaned on a heavy cane.
His eyes roamed slowly across the rolling plain,
He heaved a burdened sigh and softly spoke:

“You old white house, hid in the garden’s shade
So far away beyond the mountain’s range,
The swallows are returning from the South
And looking for their old, deserted nests
Along your coping, and you will welcome them.
But I will never more return to you.
I’ll never cross the doorstep dear to me
Where she, who bore me and gave me my life,
Paused every evening for a little while
To see the stars shine through the branches of the trees.
To Her, who died, the Stars are now the steps
Beyond which rest the mysteries of God,
And where the eyes of those who passed beyond
Fill with strange luster. But their shadows still
Fall darkly upon the hearts of those
Who yet must wait for death upon the dreary earth.

You old white house, hid in the garden’s shade,
Tell me if souls of lifeless things are similar
To our souls, that never can be taught
How to forget their sorrows and their ills.
You old white house, hid in the garden’s shade,
Tell me if you are grieved when strangers’ steps

Re-echo through your halls. And ore you waiting
If I will return, like the swallows to their nests,
To dream once more beneath your aged roof
Those wondrous dreams . . . to list and hear again
Her words of blessing, who has passed away,
Words that still linger within your very walls
To blend at night, when the strangers soundly sleep,
With the sweet and dreamy whispering of the trees.”

Thus spoke the wanderer . . . and a gleaming tear
Fell to the dust of that winding, endless road
That stretched so far away . . To where? . . To where . .?

 This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was legally published within the United States (or the United Nations Headquarters in New York subject to Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement) between 1928 and 1977 (inclusive) without a copyright notice.

The longest-living author of this work died in 1987, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 35 years or less. This work may 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.