Mickiewicz, Adam: Pan Tadeusz, The Castle (Pan Tadeusz, Zamek in English)
Pan Tadeusz, Zamek (Polish)
Kto z nas tych lat nie pomni, gdy, młode pacholę,
Pan Tadeusz, The Castle (English)
Who remembers not the years when as a boy
He went out with his gun, whistling for joy,
Across the fields, no fence to bar his walk
Nor heeded when he crossed a neighbour's balk?
The Lithuanian hunts where'er he please.
As free as any ship upon the seas,
And like a prophet looks up to the sky
And in the clouds can many signs descry;
Like a sorcerer communing with the earth,
That listens not to men of city birth,
Yet whispereth to him when he draws near
A multitude of voices in his ear.
Unseen a landrail from the meadow screams,
Scurrying away like pike in Niemen's streams;
While overhead the early springtime bell,
The lark, is ringing, hidden deep as well;
And there an eagle whirrs with widespread wings,
By sparrows feared as comets are by kings;
Or else a hawk, poised in the heaven high,
Hangs fluttering like a transfixed butterfly,
Till, sighting bird or leveret afar,
It swoops upon it like a falling star.
When wilt Thou, Lord, allow us to return
And dwell among the fields for which we yearn,
To join the cavalry that wars on hares?
Or infantry that 'gainst the birds prepares,
To know no weapons save the scythe and hook,
No roll of honour but the larder book?
O'er Soplicowo's thatch the sunlight creeps
And through the crannies of the stable seeps,
Lighting upon the fragrant dark-green hay,
Where on this morning all the young men lay.
The golden shafts between the dark thatch stream,
As ribbons in a woman's tresses gleam;
Teasing the sleppers' lips with rays of morn,
As a girl her lover wakes with ears of corn.
The sparrows hop and chirp beneath the thatch,
The gander cackles thrice as if to match
The ducks and turkeys answering in choir,
And fowing herds are going from the byre.
The young men rose, but still Tadeusz slept,
The last to fall asleep, for he had crept
To bed last night his mind in such a frame,
He had not closed an eye when cock-crow came,
And like a drowning man tossed in the hay.
At last he slept, and 'twas already day
When suddenly on his eyes a cool wind plashed;
The creaking stable door wide open crashed,
And Father Robak entered, gaily plying
His knotted belt and 'surge puer!' crying.