Night Blooming Jasmine
by Giovanni Pascoli
translated by Geoffrey Brock
And in the hour when blooms unfurl
thoughts of my loved ones come to me.
The moths of evening whirl
around the snowball tree.
Nothing now shouts or sings;
one house only whispers, then hushes.
Nestlings sleep beneath wings,
like eyes beneath their lashes.
From open calyces there flows
a ripe strawberry scent, in waves.
A lamp in the house glows.
Grasses are born on graves.
A late bee sighs, back from its tours
and no cell vacant any more.
The hen and her cheeping stars
cross their threshing floor.
All through the night the flowers flare,
scent flowing and catching the wind.
The lamp now climbs the stair,
shines from above, is dimmed…
It’s dawn: the petals, slightly worn,
close up again—each bud to brood,
in its soft, secret urn,
on some yet-nameless good.