Today's poem is translated by Leonard Kress
Jan Kochanowski: Threnody 14
If only the gate where Orpheus descended
To the underworld were left unattended
Like him I'd bring my beloved back.
If I could only find that path, ford
That river, calm the ferryman's wrath.
Rushed along with other pale shades
To my Urszula, lost in the Cypress glades.
And if, when I'd go, I'd bring my lute
And knock at the chamber of the dread Pluto
Perhaps its plaintive suit
Might persuade him to release her,
Too soon a ghost, to halt once and for all
This uncontested grief. I know that won't
Relinquish her for good, perhaps a distaste
For unripe fruit might let him allow it ripen.
Or better yet, perhaps I could remain
In this underground nation, losing my soul
As well as this preoccupation.
Copyright © 2003 Leonard Kress All rights reserved
from Sappho's Apples
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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Copyright © 2002, 2003 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved