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A Prayer To Go To Paradise With The Donkeys

Francis Jammes

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: 24 May 2017 12:06 AM | Viewed: 10424 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/9104/ | Viewed on 23 May 2017.
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