The Death Of My Cousin Athanase
To Athanase Roussinoff
‘I found you and I lost you
All on a gleaming day.’
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Sleep, my beloved cousin, sleep,
Your tender heart has said its farewells,
It is silent now, having placed a spray of narcissi
On the quiet velvet of your eyelids!
Has travelled far from your face like snowdrops,
As the sweet song of pure water
Flows away gently
From its happy source.
Sleep, sleep now, my kindly cousin,
My beloved soul,
Sleep beneath the limpid music of the golden leaves
Of the old lime tree,
Planted by the starry hand
Of Grandfather Athanase,
In the magical courtyard of our elegiac childhood.
Only my tears will wake you sometimes
To let you hear once more
The harpsichord of evening
Sing the boundless sky of crimson silk
Brushed lightly by the agile fingers of the high grass.
Sleep, the many waters of our Thrace
Will perpetuate your memory
And your name will find again
The white roses
That you loved so much
In the pink stained glass of spring dawns,
In the fleshly garden of my words of love.
My cousin who sleeps
In the smile of narcissi.
Athanase Vantchev de Thracy
Traduit en anglais Norton Hodges