Friday, 10 August 2018

The Song of the Foolish Bees - Martinus Nijhoff

A scent of higher honey
embittered us the flowers,
a scent of higher honey
has driven us away.

That scent and a soft humming
in the sky-blueness frozen,
that scent and a soft humming,
not-named repeatedly,

called us, poor reckless creatures,
to give up our green gardens,
called us, poor reckless creatures,
to a rose of mystery.

Far from our life and people
have we after adventures,
far from our life and people,
been chased jubilantly.

No one who can by nature
well interrupt his passion,
no one who can by nature
endure death bodily.

Succumbed forever farther,
shone through forever brighter,
succumbed forever farther
to the elusive sign,

We uprose and we vanished,
debodied and abducted,
we uprose and we vanished
all bright and glittery.

It snows and we have died now,
Softly falling homeward,
It snows and we have died now,
It snows between the hives.

Martinus Nijhoff (1894 - 1953) The Netherlands
Translated by Hans Koningsberger
Source: Modern Dutch Poetry edited & transalated by Hans Koningsberger, Netherlands information service, 1921

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