861. Summer and Winter, by Percy Shelley

It was a bright and cheerful afternoon,
Towards the end of the sunny month of June,
When the north wind congregates in crowds
The floating mountains of the silver clouds
From the horizon—and the stainless sky
Opens beyond them like eternity.
All things rejoiced beneath the sun; the weeds,
The river, and the corn-fields, and the reeds;
The willow leaves that glanced in the light breeze,
And the firm foliage of the larger trees.

It was a winter such as when birds die
In the deep forests; and the fishes lie
Stiffened in the translucent ice, which makes
Even the mud and slime of the warm lakes
A wrinkled clod as hard as brick; and when,
Among their children, comfortable men
Gather about great fires, and yet feel cold:
Alas, then, for the homeless beggar old!

Source: Complete Poems of Keats and Shelley

862. Ask the Rose About the Rose, by Jalal al-Din Rumi

The interpretation of a sacred text is true
if it stirs you to hope, activity, and awe;
and if it makes you slacken your service,
know the real truth to be this:
it's a distortion of the sense of the saying,
not a true interpretation.
This saying has come down
to inspire you to serve—
that God may take the hands
of those who have lost hope.
Ask the meaning of the Qur'an from the Qur'an alone,
and from the one who has set fire
to his idle fancy and burned it away,
and has become a sacrifice to the Qur'an,
bowing low in humbleness,
so that the Qur'an has become the essence of his spirit.
If an essential oil that has utterly devoted itself to the rose,
you can smell either than oil or the rose, as you please.

(trans Kabir Helminsky and Camille Helminsky)

Source: The Rumi Collection

863. March Evening, by Harry Martinson

Winterspring, nightfall, thawing.
Boys have lit a candle in a snowball house.
For the man in the evening train that rattles past,
it is a red memory surrounded by gray time,
calling, calling, out of stark woods just waking up.
And the man who was traveling never got home,
his life stayed behind, held by that lantern and that hour.

(trans Robert Bly)

Source: The Winged Energy of Delight: Selected Translations