Angelos Sikelianós (1884-1951): Prayer

Translated by Timothy Adès

Γυμνὴ Σοῦ δέεται ἡ ψυχή. Ἀπὸ χαρά, ἀπὸ πόνο
    γυμνή· ἀπὸ ἡδονὴ
γυμνὴ Σοῦ δέεται ἡ ψυχή, Δημιουργέ, μέ μόνο
    τὴν ἂπλαστη φωνή,

πού, πρὶν στὴ σάρκα μου νά μπεῖ, στὸν κόρφο Σου–ὡς τζιτζίκι
    κρυμμένο στὴν ἐλιὰ–
βουλὴ δικὴ Σου χτύπαε στὴν καρδιά μου, κ’ ἒλεε : «νίκη,
    νίκη στὰ πάντα! », καὶ δὲν ἢτανε μιλιὰ

δική μου, ἦταν η δική σου, Θεέ. Μ’ ἐκείνη μόνο
    Σοῦ δέομαι· λύτρωσέ μου τὸ σκοπὸ
τὸ μυστικὸ ποὺ γεύτηκα βαθιὰ κ’ ἒξω ἀπ’ τὸ χρόνο,
    γιὰ ν’ αγαπῶ, γιὰ ν’ αγαπῶ

πάνω ἀπὸ πρόσωπα καί πλάσματα ἀπ’ τὸν ἓνα
    ποὺ κλείνω μέσα μου παλμό,
ποὺ εἶν’ ἓνας πιὰ γιὰ ζωντανὰ καί πεθαμένα·
    δῶσε μου, ναί, τὸ λυτρωμό,

τὸν ἂναρχο Ἒρωτα νὰ νιώσω ἀκέριο, Θέ μου,
    μέσα στὰ στήθια μου ξανά·
καὶ να ‘μαι σ’ ὂλα σὰν ἡ πνοὴ καὶ σὰν ἡ βοὴ τ’ ἀνέμου,
    στὰ κοντινά, στὰ μακρινά . . .

Naked the soul entreats You. Of joy, of pain,
    of pleasure naked,
naked the soul entreats You, Maker, with alone
    the voice uncreated,

which lodged not yet in my flesh, but in Your breast,
    as a cricket in olive-trees hides,
with ‘Victory, victory in all’ on my heart impressed
    Your will, and it spoke no words

of mine, but Your words, God. With these alone
    I ask You to vouchsafe
the secret goal I could taste beyond time, deep down:
    that I may love, may love

beyond the faces and figments, beyond the lone
    pulse kept within me close
that’s now all one for the living and those who are gone:
    vouchsafe me this release,

to feel anew the Love-God, that had no birth,
    Lord, in my heart entire,
and to be as is the wild wind’s sound and breath
    to all that is far and near.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

Transcription: Themistokles Pantazakos

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