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      Jan KochanowskiLamentsLament XVIItłum. Dorothea Prall


      God hath laid his hand on me:

      He hath taken all my glee,

      And my spirit's emptied cup

      Soon must give its life-blood up.


      If the sun doth wake and rise,

      If it sink in gilded skies,

      All alike my heart doth ache,

      Comfort it can never take.

      From my eyelids there do flow


      Tears, and I must weep e'en so

      Ever, ever. Lord of Light,

      Who can hide him from thy sight!

      Though we shun the stormy sea,

      Though from war's affray we flee,


      Yet misfortune shows her face

      Howsoe'er concealed our place.

      Mine a life so far from fame

      Few there were could know my name;

      Evil hap and jealousy


      Had no way of harming me.

      But the Lord, who doth disdain

      Flimsy safeguards raised by man,

      Struck a blow more swift and sure

      In that I was more secure.


      Poor philosophy, so late

      Of its power wont to prate,

      Showeth its incompetence

      Now that joy proceedeth hence.

      Sometimes still it strives to prove


      Heavy care it can remove;

      But its little weight doth fail

      To raise sorrow in the scale.

      Idle is the foolish claim

      Harm can have another name:


      He who laughs when he is sad,

      I should say was only mad.

      Him who tries to prove our tears

      Trifles, I will lend mine ears;

      But my sorrow he thereby


      Doth not check, but magnify.

      Choice I have none, I must needs

      Weep if all my spirit bleeds.

      Calling it a graceless part

      Only stabs anew my heart.


      All such medicine, dear Lord,

      Is another, sharper sword.

      Who my healing would insure

      Will seek out a gentler cure.

      Let my tears prolong their flow.


      Wisdom, I most truly know,

      Hath no power to console:

      Only God can make me whole.

      Please wait...