And so, driven on ceaselessly toward
new shores, carried beyond return into eternal
darkness, shall we never cast anchor for a
single day in the ocean of time?

O lake! the year has scarce run its course,
and by the cherished waves that she was meant
to see again, see now! I come alone to sit upon
this stone where you saw her sit!

One evening, do you remember? we
were sailing in silence, hearing over the waters
and beneath the heavens only the distant rhythmic
beat of oarsmen on your harmonious waves.

Suddenly, a voice, its strains unknown on
earth, struck echoes from the enchanted shore;
the waters listened, and the voice which is
precious to me spoke these words:

«O time, suspend your flight! and you, fortunate hours,
stay your journey!

Let us savour the fleeting delights of the finest of our days.
Let us love, then, let us love! be quick to enjoy the fleeting hour!

Mankind has no harbour, time has no shore;
it flows, and we pass on!»

O lake! wordless rocks! caves! dark
forest! You who are untouched or made young
again by time, cherish, fair nature, cherish at
least the memory of that night.

Let the moaning wind, the sighing reed,
the gentle scents of your fragrant air, let all that
is heard, seen or breathed, let all say: «They have

Alphonso de Lamartine