Where dost thou stand behind them all, my lover,
hiding thyself in the shadows? They push thee and pass thee by on
the dusty road, taking thee for naught. I wait here weary hours
spreading my fierings for thee, while passers-by come and take my
flowers, one by one, and my basket is nearly empty.
The morning time is past, and the noon. In the shade of evening
my eyes are drowsy with sleep. Men going home glance at me and smile
and fill me with shame. I sit like a beggar maid, drawing my skirt
over my face, and when they ask me, what it is I want, I drop my
eyes and answer them not.
Oh, how, indeed, could I tell them that for thee I wait, and that
thou hast promised to come. How could I utter for shame that I keep
for my dowry this poverty. Ah, I hug this pride in the secret of my
I sit on the grass and gaze upon the sky and dream of the sudden
splendor of thy coming all the lights ablaze, golden pennons
over thy car, and they at the roadside standing agape, when they see
thee come down from thy seat to raise me from the dust, and set at
thy side this ragged beggar girl a-tremble with shame and pride,
like a creeper in a summer breeze.
But time glides on and still no sound of the wheels of thy
chariot. Many a procession passes by with noise and shouts and
glamour of glory. Is it only thou who wouldst stand in the shadow
silent and behind them all? And only I who would wait and weep and
wear out my heart in vain longing?