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Poetry in Translation (CCCIV): Peter LEWIS, GERMANY & ENGLAND: “Ballad of the Ages”, “Balada vârstei”

October 26th, 2014 · No Comments · Diaspora, International Media, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in Translation (CCCIV): Peter LEWIS, GERMANY & ENGLAND: “Ballad of the Ages”, “Balada vârstei”

Ballad of the Ages

Ballad of the Ages

Ballad of the Ages
Wilhelm BUSCH, Theodore FONTANE & Eugen ROTH

When you’re a kid, your life’s a breeze
A time to do just as you please
But being small you’re much too keen
To grow into a sulky teen.

At eighteen, though, you blithely say
By twenty I’ll be tired and grey
But when you duly reach that stage
Why, thirty seems a ripe old age.

And in your fourties what you fear
Is tour approaching fiftieth year
But when it comes, lo and behold…
You really don’t feel all that old!

Your swinging sixties pass, and then…
Good God, you’re three score years and ten
And presently it dawns on you
You might just make tour eightieth, too.

Now eighty’s past, you’re on a roll,
With ninety as your next big goal
A sneaky thought sustains and cheers
You might outlive your wizened peers!

Translated from German by Peter LEWIS

* * * *

Balada vârstei

Copil fiind, viaţa-i un vis:
E-o vârstă ca în Paradis!
Dar fiind necopt, ţi-ar place foarte
S-ajungi măcar la pubertate!

La optsprezece-ai zis demult:
– La douăzeci voi fi cărunt!
Şi-acuma stai cu frica-n sân,
Că la treizeci vei fi bătrân.

La patruzeci, încă nu crezi,
Cincizeci cum o să-i contemplezi:
Dar când sorocul a venit,
Incă tot tânăr te-ai simţit!

Iar când de şai’zeci ai trecut,
Nici şaptezeci nu sunt prea mult
Şi-acum ţinteşti c-o să întreci
S-ajungi la vârsta de optzeci.

Cum opt decenii se perindă,
Noazeci de-ani sunt noua ţintă:
Şi le promiţi la strănepoţi,
Că îi vei îngropa pe toţi.

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN, London
© 2014 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

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