Cyprian Kamil Norwid

1821-1883 / Poland

My Country

My Country
Those who say my country means
Meadows, flowers and fields of wheat,
Hamlets and trenches, must confess
These are her feet.

The child is not forced from his mother's arms,
The youth at her side will grow
While she leans on her eldest son,
These are my laws.

My country's brow has not risen here;
My flesh's beyond Euphrates and the Flood,
My spirit soars above Chaos,
I pay rent to the world.

No nation fashioned or saved me,
I recall eternity's span:
David's key unlocked my lips,
Rome called me man.

I fall on the sand to wipe with my hair
My country's blood-stained feet,
But I know her face and crown
Radiant like the sun of suns.

My ancestors have known no other;
Her feet with my hand I used to feel;
I often kissed the clumsy sandal strap
Round her heel.

They needn't teach me where my country lies;
Hamlets, trenches and fields of wheat,
Flesh and blood and this her scar
Are her print, her feet.
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