Jan Kochanowski

1530 - 1584 / Sycyna / Poland

Lament XII

I think no father under any sky
More fondly loved a daughter than did I,
And scarcely ever has a child been born
Whose loss her parents could more justly mourn.
Unspoiled and neat, obedient at all times,
She seemed already versed in songs and rhymes,
And with a highborn courtesy and art,
Though but a babe, she played a maiden's part.
Discreet and modest, sociable and free
From jealous habits, docile, mannerly,
She never thought to taste her morning fare
Until she should have said her morning prayer;
She never went to sleep at night until
She had prayed God to save us all from ill.
She used to run to meet her father when
He came from any journey home again;
She loved to work and to anticipate
The servants of the house ere they could wait
Upon her parents. This she had begun
When thirty months their little course had run.
So many virtues and such active zeal
Her youth could not sustain; she fell from weal
Ere harvest. Little ear of wheat, thy prime
Was distant; 'tis before thy proper time
I sow thee once again in the sad earth,
Knowing I bury with thee hope and mirth.
For thou wilt not spring up when blossoms quicken
But leave mine eyes forever sorrow-stricken.
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