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   a    b a l l a d    a b o u t    u s    n o t    c e a s i n g    t o    e x i s t

--- Z B I G N I E W   H E R B E R T

Translated by Marek Lugowski

Those who sailed out at dawn but will never come back they left their trace on the surface --

at such times into the deep of sea falls a shell beautiful as a mouth turned to stone

those who walked the sandy trail but did not make it to the shutters although the roofs were already in sight

within a bell of air they have shelter

and those who orphaned only a cold room a few books an empty inkwell blank sheets --

indeed those did not die completely

their whisper wafts through thickets of wallpaper in the ceiling a flat head lives on of air water lime earth a paradise was fixed for them their angel of wind crumbles the body in hand they will carry upon the meadows of this here earth

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