Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | May 31, 2009


by Jan Kochanowski (1530–1584).


On Health


My good and noble health,

Thou matt’reth more then wealth.

None know’th thy worth until

Thou fad’st, and we fall ill.


And every man can see,                                       5

In stark reality,

And every man will say:

“’Tis health I need today”.


No better thing we know,

No dearer gem we owe,                                     10

For all that we possess:

Pearls, stones of great finesse,

High offices and power

– One may enjoy this hour –

And so the gifts of youth,                                   15

And beauty are, in truth,

Good things, but only when

Our health is with us then.

For when the body’s weak,

The world around is bleak.                                 20

O jewel dear, my home

Awaiteth thee to come;

With thee it shall not perish.

’Tis all for thee to cherish.


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



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