Mihály Babits: Fugitive Love (A szökevény szerelem)

Many years, many years:
our love is still that burns?

I think, this is not love,
the love we had is long gone.
Love set me on fire,
on fire then retired,
left me here,
left me here.

Like two beautiful trees
burning on deserted fields
their burning flames collide,
the two become one:
they are red,
they are red.

Two oil wells, not two trees,
collide with their burning tongues -
they are deep, they don’t burn out.
Love already has gone far,
is laughing,
is laughing.

Who needs love here anymore
my dearest of all?
I can only love you the way
as I am loving myself,
blazing and scorching, cruelly

and the fugitive love behind,
as I feel it, is laughing.

Translated by: Maria Bencsath