Two Poems – Benjamin Zheng

Gazing the Sky

The night sky unfurls to me, harbors no more
Light that weds the clouds in the day, nor
It denies me of my gaze, most sincere dazzled eyes, 
With reflections most painful and disheartening, the rays
That pierce. Sun rays oft rob me of thy grace, 
And with their rays they mock my mortal urge, most innate. 
Yet time comes, thy fair night, now for me to brace, 
With weary eyes from the dreadful day, my wait
Is done. 

        I see waves of straying clouds of darkness,
That my esteemed spirit against them may impress
My thoughts aloft and quenchless, and regain its way
And its sober joy that trickles from the hard labour of day. 
From exhaustion, I lean on the stairway of stone, 
Mused in stars lie lost around the edges of thy own
Multitudes beyond—the constellations majestic and shy, 
And I have the pleasure tonight, gazing at the sky. 

Under the dome I share thy vast solitude, I wish I could
Forego my confinement, the intuition of space, I would
Share thy simpleness, yet thee kissed me with the infinite, 
And must I speak to rejoice? to fill thy silence? my spirit?
Once again thy silence overflew me, and lo!
Emboldened and forced me astray like thy clouds at night, 
Once again I am condensed in my joy and woe;
I will slip off the tip of a grass like dew drops at first light.

Castle of Sintra

Traveler, my friend, if you ever come across 
The Castle of Sintra, a dreamy dwelling of soaring height, 
Heed the path you ascend, take your delight
In the misty pines, warm heaps of moss, 
That too seem drenched in the wet air. 
Seek the nest of a skylark too. In some cloud
Did I hear her sing far and nigh. Her voice proud
Did resound clear, reaching the dewy hills so fair. 
How you would then wish, dear traveler, 
To poise atop the still branches in the silence of morn, 
Gleefully sing as the sun climbs the Castle of Moor. 
And the noble fort of Sintra would reveal its color. 
When the chill of the rivulet touches your foreign feet, 
As the dawning shadow catches up your merry strides, 
Gather your rapacious sight that jumps and glides, 
On the valleys deep and brooks half-veiled, I entreat: 
The sun will illume the bowers of these vales
With golden water leap where the lush of green 
Does not wreath. The yellow and red elegant and serene, 
Alas, in my youthful eyes Art glistens and prevails
O’er the trail woods, o’er the waves of hilltop breeze. 
I’d reached not those civil stones, yet not less enchanted
In a domeless temple, by Nature’s mediation I am granted
Blithe steps that tread on Earth His Kingdom at ease. 
Thus let this praise of Sintra not what it may be known, 
But a lament of my roving days, while sweet, unwary
That the guest is commanding the band of songs merry, 
While the host is pleased by merriment alone.

Benjamin Zheng is a junior boarding student from Shanghai, China. As a self-asserted philanthropist, he throws himself at the advancement of humanity, whilst his friends regard him as an anarchist loon, a libertarian beyond redemption, or a some-time poet.