FJALA E DODONËS THE ORACLE OF DODONA
Asdreni trans. Robert Elsie (from Albanian)


Te pylli i errët i Dodonës vjetër
Një tempull dore mjeshtrit ish latuar,
Në botë shoq si nuk i gjindej tjetër
N'argjend edh' ar shtatuja rreth qarkuar.

Së largu plot kanisqe mivin mbretër
Me nder tek priftëresha gojëuruar,
Me falje edh' agjërime si ca ashketër
Jasht' prisjin fatn' e vet për ta dëgjuar:

Por fati i s' ardhmes syt' n' i ka të lidhur
E ndrron shpesh rrugën shorti q' e ka gjojtur,
Veç me një fjalë, qiellit sikur thënë ...

Sa frone s'u pëmbysnë duk' u dridhur
Dhe krerë popujsh, mënç sa s'kanë lojtur:
Se plakës fjalën re s'ia patnë vënë! ...


In the sombre woods of ancient Dodona
Was a Dorian temple by expert hand built,
No other in this world could compare to its beauty,
Surrounded by statues of silver and gilt.

Laden with gifts appeared kings from afar
To honour the priestess, her speech divining,
Like hermits they huddled in fasting and prayer
Awaiting their fate, outside they were pining.

But fate and the future have eyes unbound,
And lots when cast can quickly turn round,
A word is enough, if sent from the heavens ...

How many thrones have been toppled and tossed,
And how many leaders' minds have been lost
For failing to heed that old woman's words.

Trans. Copyright © Robert Elsie 2006.


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