Jan Kochanowski

1530 - 1584 / Sycyna / Poland

Lament XIV

Where are those gates through which so long ago
Orpheus descended to the realms below
To seek his lost one? Little daughter, I
Would find that path and pass that ford whereby
The grim-faced boatman ferries pallid shades
And drives them forth to joyless cypress glades.
But do thou not desert me, lovely lute!
Be thou the furtherance of my mournful suit
Before dread Pluto, till he shall give ear
To our complaints and render up my dear.
To his dim dwelling all men must repair,
And so must she, her father's joy and heir;
But let him grant the fruit now scarce in flower
To fill and ripen till the harvest hour!
Yet if that god doth bear a heart within
So hard that one in grief can nothing win,
What can I but renounce this upper air
And lose my soul, but also lose my care.
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