Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | March 12, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: To the Young

by Adam Asnyk (1838–1897).


To the Young


The brightening flame of truth pursue,

Seek to discover ways no human knows.

With every secret now revealed to you,

The soul of man expands within the new.

And God still bigger grows!                                                      5


Although you may the flowers of myths remove,

Although you may the fabulous dark disperse,

And tear the mist of fancy from above;

There’ll be no shortage of new things to love,

Farther in the universe.                                                            10


Each epoch has its special goals in store,

And soon forgets the dreams of older days.

So, bear the torch of learning in the fore,

And join the making of new eras’ lore.

The House of the Future raise!                                               15


But trample not the altars of the past!

Although you shall much finer domes erect.

The holy flames upon the stones still last,

And human love lives there and guards them fast.

And them you owe respect!                                                    20


Now with the world that vanishes from view,

Dragging down the perfect rainbow of delight,

Be gently reconciled in wisdom true.

Your stars, oh, youthful conquerors, they, too,

Will fade into the night!                                                           25


[Transl. Jarek Zawadzki (1977–), Selected Masterpieces of Polish Poetry]



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