A Song On the End of the World

Many Solstice Blessings Be

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangel's trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
No other end of the world will there be,
No other end of the world will there be.

~ by Czeslaw Milosz; translated by Anthony Milosz

with thanks to Alan Weiss for the poem


J Cosmo Newbery said...

So far so good...

bulletholes said...

I like this one!

Adullamite said...

They talk about the end of the world like there's no tomorrow.....

red dirt girl said...

We always expect the end to occur with much fanfare ... or at the least, with a lion roaring while 'The End' scrolls across the sky. I like to think it will slip from being into not being seamlessly.


Lin said...

Merry Christmas, Red Dirt girl. :) I'm glad I found you this year.