This evening, a vast open sky, abstract, supernatural,
cold with stars, infinitely inaccessible
to human prayer, a vast open sky emerges
to fix in its mirror visible eternity.
The frost grips this infinity of silver and gold
the frost grips, the winds, the silence and the shore,
the plains and the plains; the frost that bites
the blue far distances, where stars point their lances.
Silent, the woods, the sea and this sky so vast,
its motionless glimmer darting across!
and nothing to disturb the primal process
this reign of snow, bitter and corrosive.
Immutability complete. You feel fire
and vices tighten a heart mournful and guileless;
and the fear of an immortal winter seizes
and of a sudden mighty God, glacial and splendid.
Emile Verhaeren translated by Will Stone