to Maire and Jack When I must come to you, O my God, I pray It be some dusty-roaded holiday, And even as in my travels here below, I beg to choose by what road I shall go To Paradise, where the clear stars shine by day. I'll take my walking stick and go my way, And to my friends the donkeys I shall say, "I am Francis Jammes, and I'm going to Paradise, For there is no hell in the land of the loving God." And I'll say to them; "Come, sweet friends, of the blue skies, Poor creatures who with a flap of the ears or a nod Of the head shake off the buffets, the bees, the flies..." Let me come with these donkeys, Lord, into your land, These beasts who bow their heads so gently, and stand With their small feet joined together in a fashion Utterly gentle, asking your compassion. I shall arrive, followed by their thousands of ears, Followed by those with baskets at their flanks, By those who lug the carts of mountebanks Or loads of feather-dusters and kitchen-wares, By those with humps of battered water-cans, By bottle-shaped she-asses who halt and stumble, By those tricked out in little pantaloons To cover their wet, blue galls where flies assemble In whirling swarms, making a drunken hum. Dear God, let it be with these donkeys that I come, And let it be that angels lead us in peace To leafy streams where cherries tremble in air, Sleek as the laughing flesh of girls; and there In that haven of souls let it be that, leaning above Your divine waters, I shall resemble these donkeys, Whose humble and sweet poverty will appear Clear in the clearness of your eternal love. Translated by Richard Wilbur Submitted by Elizabeth Curry
Added: 20 May 2003 | Last Read: 26 Apr 2017 5:58 AM | Viewed: 10390 times
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