They say: In the woods, in the darkness of nighttime
A hunter is quietly stalking.
So soft are his steps, so shapeless his shadow
And no human roads he is walking.
So be careful! watch out! the leaves seem to whisper
In the trees and the woods' thickest parts.
The birds seem to chirp: There is no place to hide,
He is here! He is evil and smart.
What is it he looks for, why should he have come here,
A foreboding of doom in his wake?
Is he human? an animal, is he a ghost?
No one e'er saw his face or his shape.
So be careful! watch out! her mother was warning
When she went to the woods all alone.
And she easily walked over dead leaves and flowers
Like a bird that takes wing and is gone.
And she asked in the darkness: oh why are you hiding,
And prowling about without rest, ev'ry night?
I don't know the dark, I am young, I am fearless,
Until now I have spent all my days in the sun's joyful light.
And as she stands there, her gaze ever seeking,
She seems to discern the one that has come here to rove:
Straightly before her the hunter is waiting,
And still like a doe she keeps back in the sinister grove.
His eyes full of ravenous hunger,
His features grief-stricken and mad.
It pierces her heart in a moment,
A moment unbearably sad -
And she went to the woods, to the shadowy grove
Like a bird, with a heart full of joy.
And she found there the shadows, the hunger and pain
All the things that break wings and destroy.
Oh, they say, in the woods, in the darkness of nighttime
The hunter still stalks for his prey.
And they say: what is youth? what is life, what is joy?
It's so easily taken away.