Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Lament
By Kleofas Jurgelionis, trans.
 
From a Lithuanian folk-song

I
A daughter wails by the coffin of her mother:
  O my little mother! O my little comforter! O my little defender! Thanks unto your little hands that brought me up, thanks unto your little legs that walked beside me, thanks unto your mind that taught me, thanks unto your little mouth that spoke to me so kindly.
  Who shall speak to me kindly now, who shall teach me kindly? My little mother, who shall defend me now? to whom shall I complain now? with whom shall I speak? The cuckoo of the woods ceases to cry, but I never shall cease.
  My mother, you do not sigh any more. My mother, you do not groan, my little mother. Say a word to me, give consolation to my mournful little heart.
  All the night I am trying to talk to you, yet I hear not a word from my little mother.
  O my little mother, the little guest! O my little mother, the wanderer!        5
  Ah, they build for my little mother a home of white boards without a window of glass, without a door. You will not see, my mother, the sun rising, neither the sun setting.
  The last time, the last little short while now we are talking to each other. Oh, if I could, I would wake up my dear little mother.
  Oh, when will you come to me, when will you visit me? From which country shall I await you? From which corner shall I greet you? Mother mine, day and night I shall walk, but I’ll meet you nowhere, but I’ll find you nowhere.
 
II
  Ah, my little mother, you have left me, a little orphan, and now where am I to go, where am I to conceal myself, where find a shelter? Ah, every wind will blow on me now, every rain will find me now.
  O my little mother, the summer will come, the cuckoo will cry in the woods, and I shall think that those are the words of my mother.        10
  I shall come to the grave of my little mother, and there on the path I’ll find the green grass growing and the white little clovers curling.
  My father, my old wise head, will you recognize my little mother there? Oh, my father, meet my little mother, I pray you, take her by her white little hands, and place her on the bench of the Souls of the Dead.
  O my little mother, say thanks unto your young little brothers and your little neighbors who build for you a new little home without windows and without doors. Oh, my little mother, how will you bear the new boards? Oh, how will you bear the brown earth on you?
 
 
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