No. 4 & 5


Boleslaw Lesmian 

Translated from the Polish by Ryszard J. Reisner 


*   *   *

Here stay I – darkness to earth and stay I – there still so
Asounded stars, where notwhole in God cloud do I go,
Where sky awide, trembles aloud, dreams to me and tells me,
And stay I still so further beyond these dreamt daydreams.
From all come I to me, in all for me I remain,
Here I hasten ahummed, there – ahushed I refrain
And am, in name a prayer, beyond me my lament,
One, which wishes not to be, but stays itself content.

Lord in Heaven Full of Glory

Lord in heaven full of glory
And on the cross – wasting slowly -
Where did you hide, where did you go,
That ne’er did I see You at all?

I know in failings mine Your force 
innermost never leaves my course!
So wedded bravely do we remain,
Or be it too each their own domain

Prey, what turn you in this hour,
When spirit mine fades in power?
Shed you in secret now a tear 
Or pass you with me wedded here?

From Childhood Years

I recall –  that now recalling it all can’t be done:
The grass… Beyond grass –  world vast … I’m – calling someone.
I’m fond in fact of calling into the wide stretched day –
And the thyme all scent and –  the sun sleeping – in the hay. 

And what else? What else do I of those years be dreaming?
Garden, where many leaves knew I and faces teeming –
Just leaves and faces in fact!… Leaf a stack crowd a stack!
My laughter – by lane’s end. Laughter so hard to hold back!
And head a hazeful of noise, in undercloud I run clear!
I have the sky’s breath– the heart! –  below, treetops so near! 

My steps already rumble past where dam – and river are.
You can hear them so far! So marvellously afar!
And now I’m – running  home I’m returning – through the grass –
And along stairs that love the din of feet running fast…
And the room brimming spring and wave upon wave of heat,
And this my self lounging all corners flung dangling feet – 
Pane window pressed –  to mouth… A flight – mere glass, 
      no meaning  –
And that watchful, all mighty my – boundless ever being!


You did kiss the wench but who in white marbled her too
Round her lips so cherry that they now could cherish you?

You did let the poplar throw its shade over road high
But who made it so popular right up to the sky 

You did hew the farm shed four days solid in a row
But who shed the shed the way – it  is – so it shed know?

Majka of the forest did shed her sylvan made shed
Half measure - from wayside, half measure to field - it’s said

From a hundred worlds alone to onceworld she came by 
And did watch the humming wheat, from its earth to its sky



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with the author's.


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