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      Jan KochanowskiLamentsLament XVItłum. Dorothea Prall

      1

      Misfortune hath constrainèd me

      To leave the lute and poetry,

      Nor can I from their easing borrow

      Sleep for my sorrow.

      5

      Do I see true, or hath a dream

      Flown forth from ivory gates to gleam

      In phantom gold, before forsaking

      Its poor cheat, waking?

      Oh, mad, mistaken humankind,

      10

      'Tis easy triumph for the mind

      While yet no ill adventure strikes us

      And naught mislikes us.

      In plenty we praise poverty,

      'Mid pleasures we hold grief to be

      15

      (And even death, ere it shall stifle

      Our breath) a trifle.

      But when the grudging spinner scants

      Her thread and fate no surcease grants

      From grief most deep and need most wearing,

      20

      Less calm our bearing.

      Ah, Tully[1], thou didst flee from Rome

      With weeping, who didst say his home

      The wise man found in any station,

      In any nation.

      25

      And why dost mourn thy daughter so

      When thou hast said the only woe

      That man need dread is base dishonor ? —

      Why sorrow on her?

      Death, thou hast said, can terrify

      30

      The godless man alone. Then why

      So loth, the pay for boldness giving,

      To leave off living?

      Thy words, that have persuaded men,

      Persuade not thee, angelic pen;

      35

      Disaster findeth thy defenses,

      Like mine, pretenses.

      Soft stone is man: he takes the lines

      That Fortune's cutting tool designs.

      To press the wounds wherewith she graves us,

      40

      Racks us or saves us?

      Time, father of forgetfulness

      So longed for now in my distress,

      Since wisdom nor the saints can steel me,

      Oh, do thou heal me!

      Przypisy

      [1]

      Tully — Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC–43 BC), Roman politician, philosopher, renowned orator and writer. [przypis edytorski]

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