Where the Sun Rises and Where it Sets
Once, when returning from far Transylvania
Through mountain forests, rocks, and Carpathian ridges,
Halting by a ford at the close of day
(My companions had sent me ahead to look
For passage), I let my horse graze
And out of the saddlebag took the Holy Scripture;
The light was so gracious, murmur of streams so sweet,
That reading Paul's epistles, and seeing the first star,
I was soon lulled into a profound sleep.
A young man in ornate Greek raiment
Touched my arm and I heard his voice:
'Your time, O mortals, hastens by like water,
I have descended and known its absyss.
It was I, whom cruel Paul chastised in Corinth
For having stolen my father's wife,
And by his order I was to be excluded
From the table at which we shared our meals.
Since then I have not been in gatherings of the saints,
And for many years I was led by the sinful love
Of a poor plaything given to temptation,
And so we doomed ourselves to eternal ruin.
But my Lord and my God, whom I knew not,
Tore me from the ashes with his lightning,
In his eyes your truths count for nothing,
His mercy saves all living flesh.'
Awake under a huge starry sky,
Having received help unhoped for,
Absolved of care about our platry life,
I wiped my eyes wet with tears.
No, I have never been to Transylvania.
I have never brought messages from there to my church.
But I could have.
This is an exercise in style.
The pluperfect tense
Of countries imperfective.
Czeslaw Milosz's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Where the Sun Rises and Where it Sets by Czeslaw Milosz )
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Christmas Bells, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Merry Christmas My Love, Michael P. McParland
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- Alone With Everybody, Charles Bukowski
- A Poison Tree, William Blake
Poem of the Day
- I Love You 2, Michael P. McParland
- I Love You, Michael P. McParland
- I Hope In Some Way, Michael P. McParland
- Emerald, Naveed Khalid
- I Hope, Michael P. McParland
- In All Things, Edward Kofi Louis
- See, seed!, Edward Kofi Louis
- Rosy (Two), Asit Kumar Sanyal
- I Met Him, Edward Kofi Louis
- 2 Days After, Edward Kofi Louis