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      Jan KochanowskiLamentsLament IVtłum. Dorothea Prall


      Thou hast constrained mine eyes, unholy Death,

      To watch my dear child breathe her dying breath:

      To watch thee shake the fruit unripe and clinging

      While fear and grief her parents' hearts were wringing.


      Ah, never, never could my well-loved child

      Have died and left her father reconciled:

      Never but with a heart like heavy lead

      Could I have watched her go, abandonèd.

      And yet at no time could her death have brought


      More cruel ache than now, nor bitterer thought;

      For had God granted to her ample days

      I might have walked with her down flowered ways

      And left this life at last, content, descending

      To realms of dark Persephone[1], the all-ending,


      Without such grievous sorrow in my heart,

      Of which earth holdeth not the counterpart.

      I marvel not that Niobe[2], alone

      Amid her dear, dead children, turned to stone.



      Persephone — Greek goddes of vegetation, daughter of Demeter and Zeus, abducted by Hades, god of underworld; her Roman counterpart is Proserpine. [przypis edytorski]


      Niobe — a figure from Greek mythology, daughter of Tantalus, turned into stone by grief after death of her 14 children, inflicted by Olympic gods. [przypis edytorski]

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