[MD] Justice or Peace (No Peace No Justice)

MarshaV valkyr at att.net
Fri Dec 28 23:42:39 PST 2012

Nike when she hesitates
         By Zbigniew Herbert
                   Translated by Hatto Fischer

Most beautiful is Nike
when she hesitates
the right hand leaned against the air
wonderful like a command
but the wings quiver

She sees
The lonely youth
Follow the elongated track 
Of the wagon of war
That grey path in a grey landscape
Shaped by rocks and bare shrubs

Soon the youth shall die
Already the scale of his fate

Nike has tremendous desire
To approach him
and to kiss him on his forehead

but she is afraid
that he

who has never tasted the sweetness of careness
upon getting to know her
could flee like all others
during battle

therefore Nike hesitates
and decides nevertheless
to remain in that posture
which the sculpturers have taught her
ashamed by this moment of compassion

she knows
that one will find in the grey of tomorrow morning
the youth
with open breast
closed eyelids
and with the rough obolos of fatherland
underneath the stiff tongue.


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