Saturday, June 28, 2008

Byron - Ciemność

DARKNESS

by: George Gordon (Lord) Byron (1788-1824)

I had a dream, which was not all a dream. 
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars 
Did wander darkling in the eternal space, 
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth 
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; 
Morn came and went--and came, and brought no day, 
And men forgot their passions in the dread 
Of this their desolation; and all hearts 
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light: 
And they did live by watchfires--and the thrones, 
The palaces of crowned kings--the huts, 
The habitations of all things which dwell, 
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum'd, 
And men were gather'd round their blazing homes 
To look once more into each other's face; 
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye 
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch: 
A fearful hope was all the world contain'd; 
Forests were set on fire--but hour by hour 
They fell and faded--and the crackling trunks 
Extinguish'd with a crash--and all was black. 
The brows of men by the despairing light 
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits 
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down 
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest 
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil'd; 
And others hurried to and fro, and fed 
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up 
With mad disquietude on the dull sky, 
The pall of a past world; and then again 
With curses cast them down upon the dust, 
And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd 
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground, 
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes 
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd 
And twin'd themselves among the multitude, 
Hissing, but stingless--they were slain for food. 
And War, which for a moment was no more, 
Did glut himself again: a meal was bought 
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart 
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left; 
All earth was but one thought--and that was death 
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang 
Of famine fed upon all entrails--men 
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh; 
The meagre by the meagre were devour'd, 
Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one, 
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept 
The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay, 
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead 
Lur'd their lank jaws; himself sought out no food, 
But with a piteous and perpetual moan, 
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand 
Which answer'd not with a caress--he died. 
The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two 
Of an enormous city did survive, 
And they were enemies: they met beside 
The dying embers of an altar-place 
Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things 
For an unholy usage; they rak'd up, 
And shivering scrap'd with their cold skeleton hands 
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath 
Blew for a little life, and made a flame 
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up 
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld 
Each other's aspects--saw, and shriek'd, and died-- 
Even of their mutual hideousness they died, 
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow 
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void, 
The populous and the powerful was a lump, 
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless-- 
A lump of death--a chaos of hard clay. 
The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still, 
And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths; 
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea, 
And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp'd 
They slept on the abyss without a surge-- 
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave, 
The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before; 
The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air, 
And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need 
Of aid from them--She was the Universe.

No comments: