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I wish to leave the world

I wish to leave the world

By its natural door;

In my tomb of green leaves

They are to carry me to die.

Do not put me in the dark

To die like a traitor;

I am good, and like a good thing

I will die with my face to the sun

I dream awake

I Dream Awake

Day and night

I always dream with open eyes

And on top of the foaming waves

Of the wide turbulent sea,

And on the rolling

Desert sands,

And merrily riding on the gentle neck

Of a mighty lion,

Monarch of my heart,

I always see a floating child

Who is calling me!

I have a white rose to tend

I have a white rose to tend

In July as in January;

I give it to the true friend

Who offers his frank hand to me.

And for the cruel one whose blows

Break the heart by which I live,

Thistle nor thorn do I give:

For him, too, I have a white rose.

Estoy en el baile extraño

Estoy en el baile extraño

De polaina y casaquín

Que dan, del año hacia el fin,

Los cazadores del año.

Una duquesa violeta

Va con un frac colorado:

Marca un vizconde pintado

El tiempo en la pandereta.

Y pasan las chupas rojas,

Pasan los tules de fuego,

Como delante de un ciego

Pasan volando las hojas.

I have come to the strange ball

I have come to the strange ball

Where tails and gaiters abound,

And the best hunters the year-round

The New Year wait to install.

A violet duchess careens

In the arms of a red coat:

A painted viscount of note

Keeps time on a tambourine.

And the red waistcoats whirl by,

And the flaming tulles are flowing,

As dead leaves the wind is blowing

In front of a blind man’s eye

Ik ben op het vreemde festijn

Ik ben op het vreemde festijn

van slobkous en kassekijn

gevierd op het oudejaar

door de jagers van ’t jaar.

Een paarse hertogin danst ras

met een bontgekleurde jas:

een geverfde burggraaf geeft fijn

de tijd aan met de tamboerijn.

En de rode vestjes zwaaien,

de tules van vuur laaien,

lijk vliegende blaren verzwinden

voor de ogen van blinden.

(Vertaling Z. DE MEESTER)


I who live though I have died

I who live though I have died,

Claim a great discovery,

For last night I verified

Love is the best remedy.

When weighed by the cross, a man

Resolves to die for the right;

He does all the good he can,

And returns bathed in the light.

I Have a Dead Friend

I have a dead friend who lately

Has begun to visit me:

My friend sits down and sings to me,

Sings to me so dolefully.

'Upon the double-winged bird's back

I am rowing through skies of blue:

One of the bird's wings is black,

The other, gold of Cariboo.'

'The heart's a madman that abhors

One color as one too few:

Either its love is two colors,

Or else it is not love's hue.'

'There's a madwoman more savage

Than is the unhappy heart:

She that sucks the blood in rage,

And then a-laughing would start.'

'A heart that has lost forever

The steadfast anchor of home,

Sails like a ship in fould weather,

And knows not to go or come.'

If his anguish should betray him,

The dead man will curse and weep:

I pat his skull and I lay him,

Lay the dead man down to sleep.

A Sincere Man Am I

A sincere man am I

From the land where palm trees grow,

And I want before I die

My soul's verses to bestow.

I'm a traveller to all parts,

And a newcomer to none:

I am art among the arts,

With the mountains I am one.

I know how to name and class

All the strange flowers that grow;

I know every blade of grass,

Fatal lie and sublime woe.

I have seen through dead of night

Upon my head softly fall,

Rays formed of the purest light

From beauty celestial.

I have seen wings that were surging

From beautiful women's shoulders,

And seen butterflies emerging

From the refuse heap that moulders.

I have known a man to live

With a dagger at his side,

And never once the name give

Of she by whose hand he died.

Twice, for an instant, did I

My soul's reflection espy:

Twice: when my poor father died

And when she bade me good-bye.

I trembled once, when I flung

The vineyard gate, and to my dread,

The wicked hornet had stung

My little girl on the forehead.

I rejoiced once and felt lucky

The day that my jailer came

To read the death warrant to me

That bore his tears and my name.

I hear a sigh across the earth,

I hear a sigh over the deep:

It is no sign reaching my hearth,

But my son waking from sleep.

If they say I have obtained

The pick of the jeweller's trove,

A good friend is what I've gained

And I have put aside love.

I have seen across the skies

A wounded eagle still flying;

I know the cubby where lies

The snake of its venom dying.

I know that the world is weak

And must soon fall to the ground,

Then the gentle brook will speak

Above the quiet profound.

While trembling with joy and dread,

I have touched with hand so bold

A once-bright star that fell dead

From heaven at my threshold.

On my brave heart is engraved

The sorrow hidden from all eyes:

The son of a land enslaved,

Lives for it, suffers and dies.

All is beautiful and right,

All is as music and reason;

And all, like diamonds, is light

That was coal before its season.

I know when fools are laid to rest

Honor and tears will abound,

And that of all fruits, the best

Is left to rot in holy ground.

Without a word, the pompous muse

I've set aside, and understood:

From a withered branch, I choose

To hang my doctoral hood.