Near the cliff’s edge, on high
Standing out against the sky,
Dost thou see a ruined cross
Weatherstained, o’ergrown be moss,
Gloomy, desolate, forsaken,
By unnumbered tempests shaken?
Not a blade of grass grows nigh it,
Not a peasant lingers by it.
E’en the sombre bird of night
Shuns it in her darksome flight,
Startled by the piteous groan
That arises from the stone.
All around, on starless nights,
Myriad hosts of livid lights
Flicker fretfully, revealing
At its foot a phantom, kneeling
Whilst it jabbers dismal plaints,
Cursing God and all the saints.
Tardy travellers, beware
Of that spectre gibbering there;
Close your eyes, and urge your steed
To the utmost of his speed;—
For beneath that cross, I ween,
Lies a Vmapyre’s corpse obscene!
—–pt 1 from the Roumanian of Vasile Alecsandri