Goodbye Once More to Cambridge
Translation by Canaan Morse
Over blades of grass I’m leaving,
as over them I once came,
a slender hand privately waving
goodbye to this western plain.
Light falls from the tress of the willow
(a bride by the evening stream)
murmurs out in bright alloy the water
and through all the aisles of me.
while the childish algae that play
in the mud of the riverbed
duck from the current, wave me away
as a gift from the giver—
—and rise to a dream, the dream
of a rainbow, distilled from
the news of the wind in the green
fractured face of the spring by the elm;
For dreams? Bow a long elm pole
to pull slowly for a place of unthinkably bright;
load that, somehow, to the paint,
and sing as you drift through the night.
But—I have not that right,
my escape is the broken reed of farewell;
as some sympathy dims the cicadas and gloom
is described by the evening bell.
And under a shadow I’m leaving,
just as under a shadow I came.
The pale hand brushes silently, leaving
stray clouds on this autumnless plain.