The Hellespont

Theophile Gautier

 Translated by C. F. Bates


WAVE unto shore in an embrace

            Doth ever rue;

The dawn to cheer the wild-flower’s face

            Distils the dew.

The wind of evening makes its moan

            To cypress-tree;

To terebinth the turtle low

            Plains mournfully.


When all save grief hath found repose,

            The moon doth speak,

And to the dormant waves disclose

            Her pallid cheek.

Sophia, thy white dome doth seem

            To greet blue heaven;

And pensively the heaven’s calm dream

            To God is given.


Or dove or rose, or wave or tomb,

            Or rock or tree;

All here below hath somewhere room

            Itself to free;

But I, alone, am all alone,

            And there is naught

Save, Hellespont, thy sombre tone

            Gives back my thought!

Main Location:

Dardanelles, Turkey