Elizabeth Bishop, In kâld foarjier

 
In kâld foarjier
foar Jane Dewey, Maryland

Der is neat sa moai as maitiid. – Hopkins

In kâld foarjier:
it fioeltsje stie breklik yn it gers.
Twa wike minstens wifelen de beammen;
de lytse bledsjes wachten,
lieten hoeden harren skaaimerken riede.
Lang om let sette stimmich grien stof
him fêst op dyn grutte, doelleaze heuvels.
Op in dei, yn in skrouske wite smeet sinneskyn,
waard op de flank fan ien in keal berne.
De mem hold op mei âljen
en die lang oer it opfretten fan it fûl,
in stakkerige flagge,
mar it keal kaam daalk oerein,
it like fan sins en fiel him blij.

De deis dêrnei
wie ’t in stik waarmer.
Grienich-wite kornoelje krong troch yn de bosk,
elk blombledsje skynber skroeid oan in sigrettepeuk;
en de reade hagebeam stie der skier
en roerleas nêst, mar earder yn beweging hast
as fan hokker thús te bringen kleur ek.
Fjouwer herten oefenen op it oer dyn hikken springen.
De baby-ikebledsjes soeiden troch de skrale iik.
Sjonggoarsen stienen op skerp foar de simmer,
yn de eskdoarn liet de komplemintêre kardinaal
in swipe klappe en de slieper waard wekker,
speake him de milenlange griene lea út it suden.
Op syn mûtse waarden de seringen wyt
en op in dei dwarrelen se del as snie.
No, by jûn,
komt in nije moanne op.
De heuvels fersêftsje. Toefen lang gers
toane wêr’t elk kowe-aai leit.
De baltkikkerts klinke,
as plukke logge tommen oan sloppe snaren.
Under de lampe teare de lytste motten
harren tsjin dyn wite foardoar út,
as Sineeske waaiers, sulver en fergulde sulver
oer feal giel, oranje of griis.
No, út it tichte gers wei,
begjinne de glindmichjes op te stigen:
omheech, omleech en wer omheech:
ljochtjaand as se klimme,
lyktidich kliuwend nei deselde hichte,
– krekt sa as de bûltsjes yn sjampanje.
– Letter stige se folle heger.
En dyn skadige greiden binne no by steat en bring
sokke singeliere gluorjende hommaazjes
elke jûn, de hiele simmer lang.

 

A Cold Spring
for Jane Dewey, Maryland

Nothing is so beautiful as spring. —Hopkins

A cold spring:
the violet was flawed on the lawn.
For two weeks or more the trees hesitated;
the little leaves waited,
carefully indicating their characteristics.
Finally a grave green dust
settled over your big and aimless hills.
One day, in a chill white blast of sunshine,
on the side of one a calf was born.
The mother stopped lowing
and took a long time eating the after-birth,
a wretched flag,
but the calf got up promptly
and seemed inclined to feel gay.

The next day
was much warmer.
Greenish-white dogwood infiltrated the wood,
each petal burned, apparently, by a cigarette-butt;
and the blurred redbud stood
beside it, motionless, but almost more
like movement than any placeable color.
Four deer practiced leaping over your fences.
The infant oak-leaves swung through the sober oak.
Song-sparrows were wound up for the summer,
and in the maple the complementary cardinal
cracked a whip, and the sleeper awoke,
stretching miles of green limbs from the south.
In his cap the lilacs whitened,
then one day they fell like snow.
Now, in the evening,
a new moon comes.
The hills grow softer. Tufts of long grass show
where each cow-flop lies.
The bull-frogs are sounding,
slack strings plucked by heavy thumbs.
Beneath the light, against your white front door,
the smallest moths, like Chinese fans,
flatten themselves, silver and silver-gilt
over pale yellow, orange, or gray.
Now, from the thick grass, the fireflies
begin to rise:
up, then down, then up again:
lit on the ascending flight,
drifting simultaneously to the same height,
—exactly like the bubbles in champagne.
—Later on they rise much higher.
And your shadowy pastures will be able to offer
these particular glowing tributes
every evening now throughout the summer.

 

Ut A Cold Spring, 1955

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