Poems Without Frontiers

Poems in Translation

David Paley






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The Wind Defeated
David Paley

No longer are we singing
The carefree song of spring,
Dancing with the blossoms
Falling from the tree;
Or running through the meadows
In the fellowship of clouds,
Beckoned by the hills,
Beneath the open sky.
Now, we hear the cry of autumn
Yearning for the sun
Faded in the gathering mist
Where it seeks a colder friendship
Amongst the exiled stars.

Although the air collects in icy blasts
To howl against the castle walls,
Its force will be as quickly spent;
But we must all obey the iron rule
Of this imperious but lesser general
Who subjects us all to brief control
Like Pompey pursued by Caesar.
For, we know that Phoebus will rise again
To resume command of day
And drive his golden steed
To bring new dawn at last
As darkness yields with ease
To the might of conquering light.

Stronger than the wind
And dispeller of the rain,
The sun will shine to bathe the world
And spring will sprinkle flowers.
Love will run about the globe
To shoot another dart;
Seize upon the ones it finds
And bind them with a clutch of iron,
Then fly again to seek another,
Knowing that infection, like the plague,
Will be caught within an instant
And no cure will draw the arrow
Once embedded in the heart.

But, thus infected,
We shall thwart those tyrants,
Time and Death,
Who collude to destroy our lives.
Neither shall we fear the bite of winter
For, our spring has come to stay
And gives eternal warmth.
We shall live where beauty reigns
And hear the strains of music
Sounding from another world
Deep within our souls
Where love will know no clock
And outlast the tallest candle.

Our humble cottage will be a tropic isle,
Rollers breaking on the shore,
And trees will wave in balmy breeze
Along that sandy beach
Where we shall write our lives.
We shall carve the day from fleeting time
And anchor dreams to a bed of coral
Where we retain this splendid hour
And reserve our joy for ever
To live as willing slaves
Bound in lifelong service
To our perpetual spring,
Beyond the tempest roar.

Our cockleshell boat
Will be moored in harbour
Safe from threatening waves
As we rock in fond embrace
Upon a bed of palm
Undisturbed by any storm
Destructive of our state of grace.
Therefore, wind, drive all before you:
Smash houses in your rage
And crumble mountains
That stand within your path;
But no mere breath of air
Has strength to cool our hearth.