“The Lake”…. and some Nutella

Over the past several weeks, there have been several moments of total confirmation that I married the right person. Here I give you two of them:

  1. After being introduced to it at Wegmann Waffle Wednesday, I caught James – who had hitherto viewed dessert as an apple or vanilla ice cream if he was really feeling crazy – eating Nutella from the jar with his finger.
  2. As we stood marveling at this beautiful lake on our honeymoon, and talking of how we wanted to always remember this moment, James referenced this poem. (Disclaimer: I am a sap, who really really loves those Romantics. The angstier the better. If you are one of the Scoffers of Emotional Exposure, I invite you to stop reading now, because there is no romantic angst so exquisite and over the top as the French Romantics. )

“The Lake”

And thus, forever driven towards new shores,

Swept into eternal night without return,

Will we never, for even one day, drop anchor

    On time’s vast ocean?

O Lake! Only a year has now gone by,

And to these dear waves she would have seen again,

Look! I’m returning alone to rest on the very work

    Where you saw her rest!


Then as now, you rumbled under these great rocks;

Then as now, you broke against their torn flanks;

The wind hurling the foam from your waves

    Onto her adored feet.


One evening, you recall? We drifted in silence;

Far off on the water and under the stars hearing

Only the rhythmic sound of oars striking

    Your melodious waves.


Suddenly strains unknown on earth

Echoed from the enchanted shore;

The water paid heed, and the voice so dear

    To me spoke these words:


“O time, suspend your flight! and you, blessed hours,

    Suspend your swift passage.

Allow us to savor the fleeting delights,

    Of our most happy days!


So many wrteched people beseech you:

    Flow, flow quickly for them;

Take away the cares devouring them;

    Overlook the happy.


But I ask in vain for just a few more moments,

    Time escaping me flees;

While I beg the night: ‘Slow down,’ already

    It fades into dawn.


Then let us love, let us love! And the fleeting hours

    Let us hasten to enjoy.

We have no port, time itself has no shore;

    It glides, and we pass away.”


Jealous time, will these moments of such intoxication,

Love flooding us with overwhelming bliss,

Fly past us with the same speed

    As dark and painful days?


What! will we not keep at least the trace of them?

What! They are gone forever? Totally lost?

This time that gave them and is obliterating them,

    Will it never return them to us?


Eternity, nothingness, past, somber abysses,

What are you doing with the days you swallow up?

Speak: will you ever give back the sublime bliss

    You stole from us?


O lake! silent rocks! shaded grottoes! dark forest!

You whom time can spare or even rejuvenate,

Preserve, noble nature, preserve from this night

    At least the memory!


May it live in your peace, may it be in your storms,

Beautiful lake, and in the light of your glad slopes,

And in these tall dark firs and in these savage rocks,

    Overhanging your waves.


May it be in the trembling zephyr passing by,

In the endless sounds that carry from shore to shore

In the silver faced star that whitens your surface

    With its softened brilliance.


May the moaning wind and sighing reed,

May the delicate scent of your frangrant breeze,

May everything that we hear and see and breathe,

    Awaken the memory of — their love!

-Alphonse de Lamartine

For those so inclined, read the original French version here.

ps: I also know he is the right man every single time I look at those shoes he picked out for the wedding. Every. Single. Time.

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2 Responses to “The Lake”…. and some Nutella

  1. Pingback: Honeymoon Part II: Canadian Color | The Art in Life

  2. Pingback: Black and White Banff | The Art in Life

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