Cyprian Kamil Norwid

1821-1883 / Poland

In An Album

If instead of windows so amply
Frozen to precious stones we had
A few statues against azure skies,
Or a columned peristyle for reveries…
If only Sorrento sunlight
Would slither through laurel leaves…
Ah well ! . . . here all is veiled in mists . . .

If only instead of this lovely cypress
And this glare that hurts the eyes
And the Colosseum (red foxes' lair!)
One could espy the plaits of a weeping willow,
And instead of a land of rubble and ashes
And shattered Etruscan pots, see irrigated
Fields of water-melon
And just touch a little Polish soil…
Ah well ! . . .

Oh imagination ! . . . Lady Penelope,
I know you as when your nimble foot
Skips o'er your suitors' ashen hearts…
I know you and your mottled fan,
Your gestures - the chanting of sweet descants,
Your power and truth - and I rest content.
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