Oh sad age, how the years will pass us by,
Pass us and then our last visions refuse,
Refuse us to look on our childhood skies:
Oh daughter I am a burden to you,
And this vision of mine, oh cherished lake,
Passes my mind and troubles me too late.

Now that harsh spring has at last come too late,
But too late my strength has now past me by,
Too late to traverse these trails to that lake:
This last trial of life my legs must refuse.
Oh daughter I am a burden to you,
A burden of clouds that fill your spring skies!

These trails from that lake I took in fall skies,
But winter, too cold, my return makes late!
Oh daughter I am a burden to you,
And feel that your breath is thus weakened by
The burdens I’ve made, though none I refuse—
Should you get weaker, drown me in some lake!

Now the snow melts, and the sun thaws the lake,
And the clouds have cleared from these blooming skies!
These flowers are bloomed but I can’t refuse
The cold and stiff pains I’ve had as of late,
Too late now to feel the warm air nearby.
Oh daughter I am a burden to you!

Oh daughter I am a burden to you
For daring to walk away from that lake,
For thinking my strength would not pass me by,
For wanting to hunt before these great skies!
My daughter, oh daughter, day’s getting late,
It’s time we should both my burden refuse.

‘Father, I’m weak, but I will not refuse!’
Oh daughter I am a burden to you!
‘Our journey was long, and though spring was late,
I’ve suffered this strain to last to that lake—
That lake, at last, separates from these skies,
And on its banks now, I’ll set you down by.’

 

Douglas Thornton is a poet and English teacher living in France.

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