By Jovan Jovanovic-Zmaj
the air I breathed a sigh;
She, afar, another breathed -
Sighs that, like a butterfly,
Each went wandering low and high,
Till the air with sighs was wreathed.
When each other long they sought,
On a star-o'er-twinkled hill
Jasmine, trembling with the thought,
Bothe within her chalice caught,
A lover's potion to distil.
Drank of this a nightingale,
Guided by the starlight wan -
Drank and sang from dale to dale,
Till every streamlet did exhale
Incense to the waking daawn.
Like the dawn, the maiden heard;
While, afar, I felt the fire
In the bosom of the bird;
Forth our sighs again were stirred
With a sevenfold desire.
These we followed till we learned
Where they trysted; there erelong
Their fond nightingale returned.
Deeper then our longings burned,
Deeper the delights of song.
Now, when at the wakening hour,
Sigh to sigh, we greet his lay,
Well we know its mystic power -
Feeling dawn and bird and flower
Poring meaning into May.
Jasmine, perfume every grove!
Nightingale, forever sing
To the brightening dawn above
Of the mystery of love
In the mystery of Spring!
Translated by Nikola Tesla and Robert Underwood-Johnson
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