Poems Without Frontiers

Poems in Translation

David Paley






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Gold
David Paley

"The moonlight crosses my evening window
As I take my glass with ruby wine
And view the chest in oaken glow
When I can thrill to my joy divine.
I draw the curtain to secure my room
And, safe from all intruding eyes,
Take that casket in gathering gloom
To breathe my love with doting sighs.

"I turn the key in this lock of iron
To gaze inside with a view beguiled
And admire the treasure that, now, I open:
A heap of yellow, my dearest child.
I clear the table of all its clutter
Before I spread my life upon it
To run my fingers through its metallic cold
And count once more my glistering gold.

"I pile the columns filed in order
And survey once more the serried ranks:
My secret army that defends my border,
For, none has skill that gold outflanks.
A life of hardship have I spent for this
And they think I work without reward;
But I care nought that they take amiss
The coin I add to my treasured hoard.

"They squander all their money as soon as earned
Sunk in the jaws of a deep abyss.
My delight is gained from companions spurned
And that, itself, brings greater bliss.
Hidden away from invading sight,
Here lies the cure for all my woes:
Possessions that have compelling might
That I could wield if I so chose.

"Here is the key to all my joy:
I keep my wealth about my hearth
And want no love without investment,
For, what is given can have no worth.
I have no needs and live alone
Without expense for another's home.
But ever with me is my friend untold;
Always faithful is my trusted gold."

"My neighbour is completely blind
Buried in his pointless gold
That has no use unless exchanged
For a fund of comforts when he is old;
But he is more to dreams inclined
In vain belief there is no mould
Growing round his mind deranged
Gripped in a ruthless stranglehold.

"We are poor but we have riches
Invested in our family home
Where golden curls suffice for us
And silver hair will be our lot.
He thinks we lead no life of merit
Because we have an empty pocket;
But we will launch a generation
Whilst he will sink to obliteration.

"The silver lake shall be our fortune,
Our gold, the setting sun
That sinks behind majestic hills
And sends abundant dawns.
Mornings rise to new creations
Brighter than the jaundiced lure
That dulls the mind and senses
Entangled in those pitiless thorns".

Gold is a furnace fire
That sells the soul to any buyer;
Gold is the scorching light
That blinds mankind to the sense of right;
Gold is a beacon that will never fade
That pulls us onward in pursuits unpaid;
Gold is the purest form of lust
That remains bereft of love or trust.