Adam Mickiewicz

(24 December 1798 – 26 November 1855 / Zavosse, Nowogródek)


Poem by Adam Mickiewicz

Still vast, but desolate, the dwelling of the Girey kings!
On stairs, in vestibules once brushed by Pashas' brows
And across sofas that were thrones of power, sanctuaries of love,
Grasshoppers veer and bounce, the serpent winds,

And rank vines crawl through myriad-colored windows
To invade mute vaults and voiceless halls, conquer
Man's labor in the name of nature, and inscribe
There in the letters of Balthazar: DESTRUCTION.

In the center of a hall, a basin hewn in marble:
The fountain of the harem, still intact,
Whispers its tearful pearls alone, as if to ask:

Where are they, grandeur, power and love? Their term
Was to have been forever, and the stream's, ephemeral,
But they have passed and the white fount is here.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 24, 2013