Saturday, 9 January 2010

Translation of a poem by Erik Menkveld in 'Lyrisch van Rembrandt'


For viola da gamba, harp and female voice
In the manner of ‘Più dogliosa mia vita’

Why do you hate me so, from love?
What purpose does it serve to ban my bones as relics?
My love, you I do not understand.

Oh, to you it is mere duty. No
noble longing, no gracious hope took
refuge behind my deeds. That you know.

A prelate fails in his obligations
if what seems holy he would canonise
without first making his inquiries –  that you did.

Oh greatest bliss, fully known. Because of you
I lie in unhallowed ground. You’ll never know
one moment, guys, what does it say here precisely?

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