On the calm black water where the stars are sleeping White Ophelia floats like a great lily; Floats very slowly, lying in her long veils... - In the far-off woods you can hear them sound the mort.
For more than a thousand years sad Ophelia Has passed, a white phantom, down the long black river. For more than a thousand years her sweet madness Has murmured its ballad to the evening breeze.
The wind kisses her breasts and unfolds in a wreath Her great veils rising and falling with the waters; The shivering willows weep on her shoulder, The rushes lean over her wide, dreaming brow.
The ruffled water-lilies are sighing around her; At times she rouses, in a slumbering alder, Some nest from which escapes a small rustle of wings; - A mysterious anthem falls from the golden stars.
O pale Ophelia! beautiful as snow! Yes child, you died, carried off by a river! - It was the winds descending from the great mountains of Norway That spoke to you in low voices of better freedom.
It was a breath of wind, that, twisting your great hair, Brought strange rumors to your dreaming mind; It was your heart listening to the song of Nature In the groans of the tree and the sighs of the nights;
It was the voice of mad seas, the great roar, That shattered your child's heart, too human and too soft; It was a handsome pale knight, a poor madman Who one April morning sate mute at your knees!
Heaven! Love! Freedom! What a dream, oh poor crazed Girl! You melted to him as snow does to a fire; Your great visions strangled your words - And fearful Infinity terrified your blue eye!
- And the poet says that by starlight You come seeking, in the night, the flowers that you picked And that he has seen on the water, lying in her long veils White Ophelia floating, like a great lily.