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      Jan KochanowskiLamentsLament Itłum. Dorothea Prall


      Come, Heraclitus[1] and Simonides[2],

      Come with your weeping and sad elegies:

      Ye griefs and sorrows, come from all the lands

      Wherein ye sigh and wail and wring your hands:


      Gather ye here within my house today

      And help me mourn my sweet, whom in her May

      Ungodly Death hath ta'en to his estate,

      Leaving me on a sudden desolate.

      'Tis so a serpent glides on some shy nest


      And, of the tiny nightingales possessed,

      Doth glut its throat, though, frenzied with her fear,

      The mother bird doth beat and twitter near

      And strike the monster, till it turns and gapes

      To swallow her, and she but just escapes.


      «'Tis vain to weep,» my friends perchance will say.

      Dear God, is aught in life not vain, then? Nay,

      Seek to lie soft, yet thorns will prickly be:

      The life of man is naught but vanity.

      Ah, which were better, then — to seek relief


      In tears, or sternly strive to conquer grief?



      Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 535–475 BC) — pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, often called „weeping Heraclitus”. [przypis edytorski]


      Simonides of Ceos (c. 556–468 BC) — a Greek lyric poet, renowned for his epitaphs. [przypis edytorski]

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