Treasure Island

Czeslaw Milosz

(30 June 1911 – 14 August 2004 / Kedainiai)

Statue of a Couple


Your hand, my wonder, is now icy cold.
The purest light of the celestial dome
has burned me through. And now we are
as two still plams lying in darlmess,
as two black banks of a frozen stream
in the chasm of the world.

Our hair combed back is carved in wood,
the moon walks over our ebony shoulders.
A distant cockcrow, the night goes by, silent.
Rich is the rime of love, withered the dowry.

Where are you, living in what depths of time,
love, stepping down into what waters,
now, when the frost of our voiceless lips
does not fend off the divine fires?

In a forest of clouds, of fcam, and of silver
we live, caressing lands under our
And we are wielding the might of a dark scepter
to earn oblivion.

My love, your breast cut through by a clinel
knows nothing anymore of what it was.
Of clouds at dawn, of angers at daybreak,
of shallows in springtime it has no remembrance.

And you have led me, as once an angel led
Tobias, onto the rusty mashes of Lombardy.
But a day came when a sign frightened you,
a stinma of golden measure.

With a scream, with inunobile fear in your thin hands
you fell into a pit that ashes lie over,
where neither northern firs nor Italian yews
could protect our andent bed of lovers.

What was it. what is it, what will it be
we filled the world with our cry and calling.
The dawn is back, the red moon set,
do we know now? In a heavy ship

A helmman comes, throws a silken rope
and binds w tightly to eaah other,
then he pours on friends, once enemies,
a handful of snow.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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