Voices on the Wind

1.) It's seldom a traveller strays from the way
up the hill, to the edge of the snow.
The dull, leaden lake mirrors houses of grey
left to crumble and die long ago.
The weeds in the streets have grown wild, out of hand;
all splendour's a thing of the past.
Not even the heavens remember this land
in its silent, pale fog overcast.
There is no escape for the dwellings of stone
from the web that the years slowly spin;
I am the last one who lives here alone
with the voices that sing on the wind.

2.) Once, merry laughter rang out in the streets
until fog rose from deep down below,
it carried the voices, alluring and sweet
to the hamlet of stone in the snow.
I don't know the cause, but the meaning seems clear:
Here the gods lost their hold on the land.
The fog, it subsides and returns every year
and takes one of us off in its hand.
And only at times, when the evening is still
and you hear the wind's sighing begin
you can tell what the part is our souls now fulfil:
they're the voices that sing on the wind.

3.) Year upon year melts away with the snow
as the fog steals the folk of the lake.
I am the last one who's left still to go -
the last one the voices will take.
I wait for the waiting to finally end,
here in my cottage of stone,
surrounded each day by the voices of friends -
and yet I am ever alone.
Soon I, too, will go where the fog starts to climb -
unmourned, like a woman who sinned,
then at last I'll be one to the end of all time
with my voices that sing on the wind.

4.) And if you should stray on your travels out here
up the hill, to the edge of the snow,
the lake will reflect the remains of a world
left to crumble and die long ago.
The houses stand still on the barren, grey banks,
they wait as they slowly decline
for more singers to join in the fog-choir's ranks
in this place on the edges of time.
Don't seek us amid empty doorways and halls
in those streets that with laughter once brimmed,
just lean back and listen when night gently falls -
we're the voices that sing on the wind.

Eva 1995

(English translation: Marilisa Valtazanou, Eva Van Daele-Hunt)

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