The hope a mooncalf follows
is sacrifice for slaughter,
and yet the wings of swallows
still skip across the water. 

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The Past


God does not make the p a s t, nor death, nor grief,
But he who breaks the law,
Whose depths are so raw,
He, knowing evil, seeks a m n e s i a for relief.
However, he's not like a child inside a stroller,
Crying: “Look, there's a tree,
Only to see it flee…
Into the woods!”; the tree remains; the child grows older.
The past exists today as well as beyond the green:
A simple hamlet waits
Not this or that odd place…
Whose fields no living man has ever walked or seen.
After the Polish of Cyprian Kamil Norwid (1821–1883)
First appeared in The Sarmatian Review
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© by Leo Yankevich