Poems Without Frontiers

Poems in Translation

David Paley






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To Music
David Paley

Let chariots fly to far-off lands
Across the farthest seas
And bear me to the ends of earth
On winds of martial fire.
Let me march to tunes of glory
And extol the deeds of bygone days,
Sound the trumpet to the walls
And beat the drum of battle;
Let me hear the clash of sword
Against the valiant shield;
And the ringing song of triumph
When the foe was made to yield.

When the quiet of the night
Has flowed in waves upon me
And the crescent of the moon
Is seen above the hills
Or the evening mists of autumn
Waft across my thoughts,
Send the breath of cherubs
To fly across the dales
Whence the notes of nature's strings
Rustle through the trees
To sound the peace of ages
Upon a mind that longs for ease.

Play until the dawn upon my heart
With melodies of the spangled night.
Make the wind your tender herald
And whisper sighs upon my ear
To still the yearning in my breast
And forestall a weary tear.

Turn my eyes to heaven in time of need
And praise the mysteries of creation.
Bring comfort to my troubled soul
And balm to my affliction
With sounds of chanting voices
From beyond the realm of stars
Raised in angel chorus.

What charms you bring me!
What worlds do you create!
How I have honoured your pleasing art
Through these devoted years!
I thank your maker from my deepest being
And plead you do not cease;
For I stand to you indebted
Far beyond my earthly fortune.
But for more than this
Am I to you beholden:
I owe a bond of love
That is forever golden.