All Hallow's Eve
In the great silence of my favorite month,
October (the red of maples, the bronze of oaks,
A clear-yellow leaf here and there on birches),
I celebrated the standstill of time.
The vast country of the dead had its beginning everywhere:
At the turn of a tree-lined alley, across park lawns.
But I did not have to enter, I was not called yet.
Motorboats pulled up on the river bank, paths in pine needles.
It was getting dark early, no lights on the other side.
I was going to attend the ball of ghosts and witches.
A delegation would appear there in masks and wigs,
And dance, unrecognized, in the chorus of the living.
- Czeslaw Milosz
translated by Leonard Nathan