Jan Kochanowski

1530 - 1584 / Sycyna / Poland

Lament XIII

Ursula, winsome child, I would that I
Had never had thee if thou wert to die
So early. For with lasting grief I pay,
Now thou hast left me, for thy sweet, brief stay.
Thou didst delude me like a dream by night
That shines in golden fullness on the sight,
Then vanishes, and to the man awake
Leaves only of its treasures much heartbreak.
So hast thou done to me, beloved cheat:
Thou madest with high hope my heart to beat
And then didst hurry off and bear with thee
All of the gladness thou once gavest me.
'Tis half my heart I lack through this thy taking
And what is left is good for naught but aching.
Stonecutters, set me up a carven stone
And let this sad inscription run thereon:
Ursula Kochanowski lieth here,
Her father's sorrow and her father's dear;
For heedless Death hath acted here crisscross:
She should have mourned my death, not I her loss.
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