Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna - The Enchantress




The Enchantress

I have a speaking bird, I have chattering waters,
I have an old enchanter, you may seize him by the beard;
I have a snake who rises on his tail among the flowers,
I have two learned hornets, who doze upon my sleeve.

I have a splendid starling, a hedgehog, a beetle, a frog,
I have a wise white jackdaw, a fluffy web of feathers:
my bird will speak to you when you least expect it,
the mournful dragon on the floor will bathe your feet in tears.

Your first dream in the world has found its homeland here,
and your joy sent into exile has come to live with me,
and if, foolish armed sentry, you come to see me too,
I'll show you your own sleeping heart inside a tiny box.


--Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna


(painting by John Bauer)





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