HYMN

 

by Juliusz Slowacki

 

I am sad, Savior ! For me in western skies
You poured out a radiant rainbow array ;
In azure waters you quench before my eyes
The fiery star of day...
Though You gild the sky and sea for me yonder,
I am sad, Savior !

Like empty ears of corn, their heads erect,
I stand bereft of surfeit and of pleasure...
To strangers my face has the same aspect,
The silence of azure :
But to You my heartís core IíIl uncover,
I am sad, Savior !

Like an infant who cries for his mother
When left atone, so am I close to tears,
Looking at the sun that throws from the water
Its last flashing spears...
Though I know tomorrow new dawn with gtitter,
I am sad, Savior !

Today when lost in the wide sweep of the sea,
One hundred miles away from either shore,
The flying storks above me I could see
In a stretched out skein soar.
That once I knew them on a Polish pasture,
I am sad, Savior !

That Iíve often brooded over catacombs,
That I have barely known my native home,
That I was like a weary pilgrim who roams
When lightning sears the skyís dome,
That I donít know in what grave Iíll linger,
I am sad, Savior !

You will behold my whitened skeleton,
No brow of a column stands guard over it;
Yet Iím like a man who enviously looks on
The ashes in their pit...
And that my bed will be restless forever,
I am sad, Savior !

They told an innocent child in my land
To say a prayer for me each day... and yet
I know my ship doesnít sail to my home strand,
When it sails straight ahead...
And that the childís prayer will not help ever,
I am sad, Savior !

The rainbow of lights which in skyís canopy
Your angels have spread in an enormous string,
Some other people hundred years after me
Will look upon - dying.
Ere to my nothingness I humbly surrender,
I am sad, Savior !

 

Written at sunset, at sea off Alexandria.

 

Translated by Michael MIKOS, author of:
Juliusz Slowacki. This Fateful Power. Sesquicentennial Anthology 1809-1949
(Polish-English Edition. Edited and translated by Michael J. Mikos.
Introduction by Alina Kowalczykowa. Lublin: Norbertinum, 1999)
and also Polish Romantic Literature. An Anthology (Bloomington: Slavica, 2003).