VERGANE DAGEN FADED DAYS - (from Dutch)
Remco Campert tr. Donald Gardner
Het was laat in de avond
regen in lamplicht gevangen
sloeg neer op de kasseien
van de Mechelse Steenweg
je had een offwhite jurkje aan
ik schatte je op vijftien
je liep langs de straat
waar ook ik over ging
auto's passeerden remden af
reden weer verder
je froeg de weg naar De Muze
het café waar Ferre optrad
Grignard de zanger van jou lied
stem die je gevonden had
waarheen je nu op weg was
'Volg de tramrails maar'
en ik liet je gaau

Antwerps meisje
dat ik in mijn hart draag
wat heb ik toch gedaan
met mijn leven
It was late in the evening
rain caught in lamplight
beat down on the cobbles
of the Old Mechlin Road
you were wearing an off-white dress
I'd have guessed you were fifteen
you were walking down the street
as I was crossing
cars passed by
braked rode on
you asked me the way to the Muse Café
the bar where that singer was on
singer you said of your song
voice that had found you
you were on your way there
'Just follow the tram lines'
I let you go

Antwerp girl
you're still on my mind
what have I done
with my life

Copyright © Remco Campert / De Bezige Bij 2007; Trans. copyright © Donald Gardner 2007 - publ. Arc Publications


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