Habeas Corpus (wiersz klasyka)

Jackson Helen Hunt

Habeas Corpus


 My body, eh? Friend Death, how now?

 Why all this tedious pomp of writ?

 Thou hast reclaimed it sure and slow

 For half a century bit by bit.


 In faith thou knowest more to-day

 Than I do, where it can be found!

 This shrivelled lump of suffering clay,

 To which I am now chained and bound,


 Has not of kith or kin a trace

 To the good body once I bore;

 Look at this shrunken, ghastly face:

 Didst ever see that face before?


 Ah, well, friend Death, good friend thou art;

 Thy only fault thy lagging gait,

 Mistaken pity in thy heart

 For timorous ones that bid thee wait.


 Do quickly all thou hast to do,

 Nor I nor mine will hindrance make;

 I shall be free when thou art through;

 I grudge thee nought that thou must take!


 Stay! I have lied; I grudge thee one,

 Yes, two I grudge thee at this last,--

 Two members which have faithful done

 My will and bidding in the past.


 I grudge thee this right hand of mine;

 I grudge thee this quick-beating heart;

 They never gave me coward sign,

 Nor played me once the traitor`s part.


 I see now why in olden days

 Men in barbaric love or hate

 Nailed enemies` hands at wild crossways,

 Shrined leaders` hearts in costly state:


 The symbol, sign and instrument

 Of each soul`s purpose, passion, strife,

 Of fires in which are poured and spent

 Their all of love, their all of life.


 O feeble, mighty human hand!

 O fragile, dauntless human heart!

 The universe holds nothing planned

 With such sublime, transcendent art!


 Yes, Death, I own I grudge thee mine

 Poor little hand, so feeble now;

 Its wrinkled palm, its altered line,

 Its veins so pallid and so slow --


* * * (Unfinished here.)


 Ah, well, friend Death, good friend thou art;

 I shall be free when thou art through.

 Take all there is -- take hand and heart;

 There must be somewhere work to do.


przysłano: 5 marca 2010

Jackson Helen Hunt

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