AXÍ COM CELL QUI·N LO SOMNI·S
DELITA ...
MUCH AS A MAN WHO TAKES DELIGHT
IN DREAMING ...
Ausiàs March trans. John Frederick Nims (from Catalan)
Axí com cell.....qui·n lo somni·s delita
e son delit.....de foil pensament ve,
ne pren a mi,.....que·l temps passat me té
l'imaginar,.....qu·altre bé no·y habita,
sentint estar.....en aguayt ma dolor,
sabent de cert.....qu·en ses mans he de jaure.
Temps de ·venir.....en negun bé ·m pot caure;
aquell passat.....en mi és lo millor.

Del temps present.....no·m trobe amador,
mas del passat,.....qu·és no·res e finit;
d'aquest pensar.....me sojorn e·m delit,
mas quan lo pert,.....s'esforça ma dolor
sí com aquell.....qui és jutgat a mort
he de lonch temps.....la sab e s'aconorta,
e creure·l fan.....que li serà estorta
e·l fan morir.....sens un punt de recort.

Plagués a Déu.....que mon pensar fos mort,
e que passàs.....ma vida en durment!
Malament vin.....qui té lo pensament
per enamich,.....fent-li d'enuyts report;
e com lo vol.....d'algun plaer servir
li'n pren axí.....com dona ·b son infant,
que si verí.....li demana plorant
ha ten poch seny.....que no·l sab contradir.

Flóra millor.....ma dolor sofferir
que no mesclar.....pocha part de plaher
entre ·quells mals,.....qui·m giten de saber
com del passat.....plaher me cové ·xir.
Las! Mon delit.....dolor se converteix;
doble's l'affany.....aprés d'un poch repós,
sí co·l malalt.....qui per un plasent mos
tot son menjar.....en dolor se nodreix;

com l'ermità,.....qui ·nyorament no·l creix
d'aquells amichs.....que tení· en lo món,
essent lonch temps.....qu·en lo poblat no fon,
per fortuyt cars.....hun d'ells li apareix,
qui los passats.....plahers li renovella,
sí que·l passat.....present li fa tornar;
mas com se'n part,.....l'és forçat congoxar:
lo bé com fuig,.....ab grans crits mal apella.

Plena de seny,.....quant amor és molt vella,
absença és.....lo verme que la guasta,
si fermetat.....durament no contrasta,
e creura poch,.....si l'envejós consella.
Much as a man who takes delight in dreaming
- all his delight a fantasy: thin air -
even so with me: upon the past my fancies
fasten and dote. No other joy but there.
I sniff ahead disaster in the offing;
reckon for sure I'm numbered with her prey.
The days to come add nothing whatsoever.
All that was best went off with yesterday.

I find myself no lover of time present.
I'm for the past: all nothingness, all done.
There in the long ago my comfort beckons,
only it's harsh awakening, come the sun.
Much as - imagine someone under sentence
of death so long he's blunted, couldn't care;
only suppose his jailers joke, "You're pardoned!"
dragging him off to the scaffold then and there.

I wish to God my thoughts were like a dead man's!
Wish I could snore and slumber out my day!
My life's no life - at daggers drawn with reason,
all my emotions bogging in dismay.
If, for a change, a break in sorrow offers,
think of a mother when her pride and joy,
spying a flask of poison, howls to have it.
She'd be a fool to gratify the boy.

I'd rather drink my bitters undiluted
than try to blend a sugary syrup too
among those dregs that plunge the brain in fever,
seeing I've lost old happiness I knew.
Now my enjoyment souring into sorrow
doubles the torment after scant relief,
like someone sick who bolts too rich a morsel
thereupon all his supper turns to grief.

Also it's like some hermit: never lonely
for cronies in the world, he doesn't pine
after the days of long forgotten folly.
Only suppose a friend of auld lang syne
happening by, recalls the old occasions;
back to a gala day the decades spin.
But, left alone, the hermit humphs and grumbles.
Joy at the door tells Sorrow: This way in.

O Soul-Of-Thought: when love is long in blossom
Being-away's the devastating worm.
Unless one turn a stony ear to slander;
unless one keep the affectionate spirit firm.

Trans. Copyright © Mrs. Bonnie Nims 1971 - publ. Rutgers University Press


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