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Norman Crane Aug 2021
Lithuania! My homeland! You are like vigour.
How invaluable you are, only he can figure,
Who has lost you. Today your beauty wholly I view
And seeing, describe it, because I long after you.

Holy ******, who guards Luminous Czestochowa
And shines in the Gate of Dawn! You, who watches over
Strongheld Novogrudok and its faithful populace!
As once you healed me, a child, so miraculous
(When into your care from my despondent mother bid
I lifted my already departed eyelid,
And soon could make my way on foot to your temple's door,
Having gone to offer thanks to God for a life restored),
So too you shall restore us to our homeland's womb.
Meanwhile, may you convey my soul from its longing's gloom
To those aforrested hills, those evergreen meadows,
Stretched wide across the space where the azure Neman flows;
To those vast fields, painted in varicoloured grain-dye,
A landscape gilded with wheat, silver-plated with rye,
Where the runch is amber, and the buckwheat white as snow,
Where like a maiden's blush the red clover overgrows,
And all's interwoven, as if by a ribbon, green
balk, within which a wild pear tree can sometimes be seen.
Here's my attempt at translating the Invocation from Adam Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz from Polish into English.
Michael R Burch Jun 2020
Sonnet: The Ruins of Balaclava
by Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, barren Crimean land, these dreary shades
of castles―once your indisputable pride―
are now where ghostly owls and lizards hide
as blackguards arm themselves for nightly raids.
Carved into marble, regal boasts were made!
Brave words on burnished armor, gilt-applied!
Now shattered splendors long since cast aside
beside the dead here also brokenly laid.
The ancient Greeks set shimmering marble here.
The Romans drove wild Mongol hordes to flight.
The Mussulman prayed eastward, day and night.
Now owls and dark-winged vultures watch and leer
as strange black banners, flapping overhead,
mark where the past piles high its nameless dead.

Adam Bernard Mickiewicz (1798-1855) is widely regarded as Poland’s greatest poet and as the national poet of Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. He was also a dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator, professor and political activist. As a principal figure in Polish Romanticism, Mickiewicz has been compared to Byron and Goethe. Keywords/Tags: Mickiewicz, Poland, Polish, Balaclava, Crimea, war, warfare, castle, castles, knight, knights, armor, Greeks, Rome, Romans, Mongols, Mussulman, Muslims, death, destruction, ruin, ruins, romantic, romanticism, sonnet, depression, sorrow, grave, violence, mrbtr

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