All that we shared to you I am leaving:
All that was best
of each brief year bequeathing,
All the old tenderness;
all the old loyalty
And, on my knees, I renew oath of fealty,
Raise to my lips
the standard of happiness
Then let it fall, war-tattered and rigorous.
As for you and for me, though our road may be long,
Such happiness will not again befall us.
Yet still I believe that the best of my song
Will immortalise its discarded colours...
The first swallow too, to you I am leaving
That dauntless returned to blockade and calamity
'Neath our miserable roof her gallant nest weaving.
You shall hear her again in your hour of extremity.
And I shall pack up as my portion our crosses
Taking with me our tears,
and our blows,
and our losses,
All our rash daring,
all our insecurity,
Our difficult, hard-won, fine-tempered maturity,
The cradle-song I never sang
to our daughter,
Composed in a war-night of blizzard and slaughter,
That I never sang-you never shall hear it.
It swells not, it fades not, and I alone bear it...
Farewell then, my bright one! I loved you
Your lot shall be richer-and I have dealt fairly.
OLGA BERGHOLTS (1910-1975).
Translated by Avril Pyman.