O hot-house deep in the forest’s heart!
O doors forever sealed!
Lo, all that lives beneath thy dome,
And in my soul, and the likeness of these things!
The thoughts of a princess who is sick with hunger,
The listless mood of a mariner in the desert,
And brazen music at the windows
Of men who are sick to death!
Seek out the coolest corners
And you think of a woman who has swooned on a day of harvest.
Postillions have entered the courtyard of the hospital,
And yonder goes an Uhlan who has turned sick-nurse.
Behold it all by moonlight!
(Nothing, nothing is in its rightful place!)
And you think of a madwoman haled before the judges,
A warship in full sail on the waters of a canal,
Birds of the night perched among lilies,
And the knell of a passing-bell at the midday hour of Angelus.
And yonder – beneath those domes of glass –
A group of sick folk halted amid the meadows,
An odour of ether abroad on the sunny air!
My God, my God, when shall we feel the rain
And the snow, and the wind, in this close house of glass?