OLD POLISH ON-LINE
E Y E
T H E
Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski
MACIEJ KAZIMIERZ SARBIEWSKI - ODES
Longing for the Heavenly Homeland
The heavenly homeland delights my eyes,
Rich setting of the firmament,
The youthful radiance of the moonrise,
A sparkling light of stars' ascent.
Light next to light is flickering gaily,
Balanced in the circle of dance,
Lamp next to lamp is standing faithfully,
Guarding the heavenly entrance.
My eyes fixed on the heavens in wonder
Travel like guests over the trail,
O, how much longer, o, how much longer,
I have to wander through this vale?
Open up, grave! Open up, silent grave!
I'll lie down without fear at last:
I will toss down chains of a carnal slave,
I will cast off dust of my dust.
I will get free of my body's burden,
Get free of pain, depravity,
My spirit will fly away to heaven,
Soaring to its native city.
To My Lute
Daughter of an old sonorous beech tree,
Take a rest from sounds of your company,
And until fair weather will allow for
Hang up on my poplar.
Along your sound-board and through every string,
Zephyr will touch you, gently caressing,
It will more perfectly each tune rehearse
Than we with our fingers.
And I in a moment, resting my head,
Will drink from the nearby spring or instead
Enchanted by its soothing run and sweep,
Ashore will fall asleep.
What now? The sky gets darker and the douds
Foreshadow thick torrents of water shrouds.
Let us rise! For so fair days in this world
With rain will quickly swirl.
From the Song of Songs
"My beloved is like a roe or like a young hart"
You shun me, o Christ, like a fearful roe,
Which is carried off by the hurricane
Or by the Northern wind's unforeseen flow
Towards a distant plain.
Whether early frost throws into a fright
The trembling leaves or when Jove faraway
Sets with his thunders the mountains alight,
She keeps running away.
But I won't stop to seek You everywhere,
"Return, o Savior!", I will cry loudly,
When You again suffer a sudden scare,
I'll cry: "Return to me!"
Whether You are concealed by the green tops
Of Libanus or by rosy meadows
Of Bethulia or Salem's fields of crops
Or Capernaum furrows;
Abandon at last this incessant flight,
For You won't escape, always watchful sky
Will detect your face, and in the dark night
The moon's gold horns will spy.
The deserted shore is crying for You,
And the Western wind sighs in open space,
To You from the sky, when the still night drew,
The stars' watch sends its rays.
To the Holy Virgin Mother
O, Mary, Queen of the golden heaven,
Leave far behind the sun's azure region,
Descend from the blue of the radiant lane,
With the Poles remain.
Let the Most Holy Child come with you now,
The crown of bright stars on his sacred brow.
The angels too, their golden quills gleaming,
Peace and well-being.
Translated by Michael J. Mikoś