“Days go past and days come still
All is old and all is new,
What is well and what is ill,
You imagine and construe;
Do not hope and do not fear,
Waves that leap like waves must fall;
Should they praise or should they jeer,
Look but coldly on it all”.

Things you’ll meet of many a kind,
Sights and sounds, and tales no end,
But to keep them all in mind
Who would bother to attend ?…
Very little does it matter,
If you can yourself fulfil,
That with idle, empty chatter
“Days go past and days come still”.

Little heed the lofty ranging
That cold logic does display
To explain the endless changing
Of this pageantry of joy,
And which out of death is growing
But to last an hour or two;
For the mind profoundly knowing
“All is old and all is new”.

As before some troup of actors,
You before the world remain;
Act they Gods, or malefactors,
‘Tis but they dressed up again.
And their loving and their slaying,
Sit apart and watch, until
You will see behind their playing
“What is well and what is ill”.

What has been and what to be
Are but of a page each part
Which the world do read is free.
Yet who knows them off by heart ?
All that was and is to come
Prospers in the present too,
But its narrow modicum
“You image and construe”.

With the selfsame scales and gauges
This great universe to weigh,
Man has been for thousand ages
Sometimes sad and sometimes gay;
Other masks, the same old story,
Players pass and reappear,
Broken promises of glory;
“Do not hope and do not fear”.

Do not hope when greed is staring
O’er the bridge that luck has flung,
These are fools for not despairing,
On their brows though stars are hung;
Do not fear if one or other
Does his comrades deep enthrall,
Do not let him call you brother
“Waves that leap like waves must fall”.

Like the sirens’ silver singing
Men spread nets to catch their prey,
Up and down the curtain swinging
Midst a whirlwind of display.
Leave them room without resistance,
Nor their commentaries cheer,
Hearing only from a distance,
“Should they praise or should they jeer”.

If they touch you, do not tarry,
Should they curse you, hold your tongue,
All your counsel must miscarry
Knowing who you are among.
Let them muse and let them mingle,
Let them pass both great and small;
Unattached and calm and single,
“Look but coldly on it all”.

“Look but coldly on it all,
Should they praise or should they jeer;
Waves that leap like waves must fall,
Do not hope and do not fear.
You imagine and construe
What is well and what is ill;
All is old and all is new,
Days go past and days come still”.

 

English version by Corneliu M. Popescu

Transcribed by Maria Cuconoiu


Glossă

Vreme trece, vreme vine,
Toate-s vechi si noua toate;
Ce e rau si ce e bine
Tu te-ntreaba si socoate;
Nu spera si nu ai teama,
Ce e val, ca valul trece;
De te-ndeamna, de te cheama’
Tu ramii la toate rece.

Multe trec pe dinainte,
In auz ne suna multe,
Cine tine toate minte
Si ar sta sa le asculte?…
Tu aseaza-te deoparte,
Regasindu-te pe tine,
Cind cu zgomote desarte
Vreme trece, vreme vine.

Nici incline a ei limba
Recea cumpan-a gindirii
Inspre clipa ce se schimba
Pentru masca fericirii,
Ce din moartea ei se naste
Si o clipa tine poate;
Pentru cine o cunoaste
Toate-s vechi si noua toate.

Privitor ca la teatru
Tu in lume sa te-nchipui;
Joace unul si pe patru,
Totusi tu ghici-vei chipu-i,
Si de plinge, de se cearta,
Tu in colt petreci in tine
Si-ntelegi din a lor arta
Ce e rau si ce e bine.

Viitorul si trecutul
Sunt a filei doua fete,
Vede-n capat inceputul
Cine stie sa le-nvete;
Tot ce-a fost ori o sa fie
In prezent le-avem pe toate
Dar de-a lor zadarnicie
Te intreaba si socoate.

Caci acelorasi mijloace
Se supun cite exista,
Si de mii de ani incoace
Lumea-i vesela si trista;
Alte masti, aceeasi piesa,
Alte guri, aceeasi gama,
Amagit atit de-adese
Nu spera si nu ai teama.

Nu spera cind vezi miseii
La izbinda facind punte,
Te-or intrece nataraii,
De ai fi cu stea in frunte;
Teama n-ai, cata-vor iarasi
Intre dinsii sa se plece,
Nu te prinde lor tovaras:
Ce e val, ca valul trece.

Cu un cintec de sirena,
Lumea-ntinde lucii mreje;
Ca sa schimbe-actorii-n scena,
Te momeste in virteje;
Tu pe-alaturi te stercoara,
Nu baga nici chiar de seama,
Din cararea ta afara
De te-ndeamna, de te cheama.

De te-ating, sa feri in laturi,
De hulesc, sa taci din gura;
Ce mai vrei cu-a tale sfaturi
Daca stii a lor masura;
Zica toti ce-or vrea sa zica,
Treaca-n lume cine-o trece;
Ca sa nu-ndragesti nimica,
Tu ramii la toate rece.

Tu ramii la toate rece,
De te-ndeamna, de te cheama;
Ce e val, ca valul trece,
Nu spera si nu ai teama;
Tu te-ntreaba si socoate
Ce e rau si ce e bine;
Toate-s vechi si noua toate:
Vreme trece, vreme vine.

The elephant’s trunk
is for picking up pistachios:
no need to bend over.
The giraffe’s neck
is for grazing on stars:
no need to fly.
The chameleon’s skin,
green, blue, lavender, white,
as it wishes,
is for hiding from ravenous animals:
no need to flee.
The turtle’s shell,
is for sleeping inside,
even in winter:
no need for a house.
The poet’s poem,
is for saying all of that
and a thousand thousand thousand other things:
no need to understand.

 


En Français

La trompe de l’éléphant,
c’est pour ramasser les pistaches:
pas besoin de se baisser.
Le cou de la girafe,
c’est pour brouter les astres:
pas besoin de voler.
La peau du caméléon,
verte, bleue, mauve, blanche,
selon sa volonté,
c’est pour se cacher des animaux voraces:
pas besoin de fuir.
La carapace de la tortue,
c’est pour dormir à l’intérieur,
même l’hiver:
pas besoin de maison.
Le poème du poète,
c’est pour dire tout cela
et mille et mille et mille autres choses:
pas besoin de comprendre.
 
Wikipedia: Alain Bosquet

I’m out
Will she love me?
I’m still seeing honey sweet
You shout
“Don’t you leave me, don’t you leave this incomplete”

I wanna know if this road belongs
To my eyes and only mine

Then I go back and show my love
A heart attack I’m told, I should have known
No more nights alone, so cold
Let’s go back to sweet, honey sweet

I’m out
I heard a heavy creek behind my window, honey sweet
There’s no doubt
You still love me, you’d still love this incomplete

I wanna know if this road belongs
To my eyes and only mine

Then I go back and show my love
A heart attack I’m told, I should have known
No more nights alone, so cold
Let’s go back to sweet, honey sweet

Tear drops stains dries in thunder
Our two in pain, change my number
I’ve seen you two about it
Talked about rebounding

I go back and show my love
A heart attack I’m told, I should have known
No more nights alone, so cold
Let’s go back to sweet
Then I go back and show my love
A heart attack I’m told, I should have known
No more nights alone, so cold
Let’s go back to sweet

Honey sweet
Honey sweet
Honey sweet
Honey sweet
Honey sweet

river

I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn’t a-been so cold
I might’ve sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn’t a-been so high
I might’ve jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.
I could’ve died for love–
But for livin’ I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry–
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!

dark

THE DAY is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

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