George Vizyenos (1848-94): The Dream

Translated by Timothy Adès

Γεώργιος Βιζυηνός
Τὸ Ὄνειρον

Ἐψὲς εἶδα στὸν ὕπνο μου
ἕνα βαθὺ ποτάμι
–Θεός νὰ μὴν τὸ κάμῃ
νὰ γίνῃ ἀληθινό!
Στὴν ὄχθη του στεκόντανε
γνωστό μου παλικάρι,
χλωμὸ σὰν τὸ φεγγάρι,
σὰν νύχτα σιγανό.

Ἀγέρας τὸ παράσπρωχνε
μὲ δύναμη μεγάλη,
σὰν νἄθε᾿ νὰ τὸ βγάλῃ
ἀπ᾿ τῆς ζωῆς τὴν μέση.
Καὶ τὸ νερό, π᾿ ἀχόρταγα
τὰ πόδια του φιλοῦσε,
θαρρεῖς τὸ προσκαλοῦσε
στ᾿ ἀγκάλια του νὰ πέσῃ.

–Δεν εἶν᾿ ἀγέρας, σκέφθηκα,
καὶ σένα ποὺ σὲ δέρνει.
Ἡ ἀπελπισιὰ σὲ παίρνει
κι ἡ ἀπονιὰ τοῦ κόσμου!
Κι ἐχύθηκ᾿ ἀπ᾿ τὸν θάνατο
τὸν δύστυχο ν᾿ ἁρπάξω…
Ὠιμέ! Πρὶν ἢ προφθάξω
ἐχάθηκ᾿ ἀπ᾿ ἐμπρός μου!

Στὰ ρέματα παράσκυψα,
νὰ τὸν εὑρὼ γυρεύω.
Στὰ ρέματ᾿ ἀγναντεύω–
Τὸ λείψανο μ᾿ ἀχνό!…
Ἐψὲς εἶδα στὸν ὕπνο μου
ἕνα βαθὺ ποτάμι
–Θεός νὰ μὴν τὸ κάμῃ
νὰ γίν᾿ ἀληθινό!

Last night I saw all in my sleep
    a river deep:
God let it not come true!
Silent as night beside the flood,
    moon-pale, there stood
a young man whom I knew.

With force the stormwind striving
    and smiting
near drove him from the living;
waves sucked his feet with kisses,
    inviting
him down to their embraces.

Not by the storm I thought him
    mistreated,
despairing wretch forsaken.
To snatch him safe I speeded,
    nor caught him:
abruptly he was taken.

I stooped towards the river,
    him to discover:
my own pale corpse I knew!
Last night I saw all in my sleep
    a river deep:
God let it not come true!

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

Published in In Other Words

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