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  • Writer's pictureCorbin Allardice

Poem 14 - Dumah (Untitled)

In a long, insomniac night when I thought, in sorrow spirling,

That it would never be--then, quietly, he came to me--

He brought me tidings:

“In your quiet yearning, in your prayer and in your bitter heresy,

You were always pleading, and begging, and mourning--for lunacy!

With my eyes I will gently touch upon your countenance--

And a black flame will illuminate your weary consciousness.

Over you soul I will hold my hands outstretched

And sheafs of shadows will accompany it, always, unto death.

So you will stand together in their dancing wheel,

unmoving and alone,

And the wheel revolves, revolves, revolves,

not giving pitch nor tone.

Black fire will illuminate dead eyes shining bright as dawn,

And the silent dance of shadows revolves, endless, on and on.”


In a shlofloz-langer nakht, ven ikh hob in payn

getrakht,

Az s’vet keynmol shoyn nit zayn--iz er shtil tsu mir

arayn--

Hot di psure mir gebrakht.

--In der shtiler benkshaft dayner, in dayn tfile,

in dayn kas

Hostu gebetn, un gebetlt, un geyomert: meshugas!

Vel ikh itst mit mayne oygn veykh barirn dayn

gezikht--

Flamt in midn moykekh daynem uf a shvartse likht.

Iber dayn neshome vel ikh mayne hent tseshpreytn--

Veln toyte shotns reyen tomid zi bagleytn.

In a rod mit zey tsuzamen vest in tants aroys,

Dreyen vet der rod zikh, dreyen, dreyen on a roysh.

Mit a shvartsn fayer veln toyte oygn glien--

Un der shtumer tants fun shotns vet on a sof zikh tsien.


By Moyshe Varshe

Translated by Corbin Allardice


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