George Seferis: Interlude of Joy

Interlude of Joy

That whole morning we were full of joy,
my God, how full of joy.
First, stones leaves and flowers shone
then the sun
a huge sun all thorns and so high in the sky.
A nymph collected our cares and hung them on the trees
a forest of Judas trees.
Young loves and satyrs played there and sang
and you could see pink limbs among the black laurels
flesh of little children.
The whole morning long we were full of joy;
the abyss a closed well
tapped by the tender hoof of a young faun.
Do you remember its laugh—how full of joy!
Then clouds rain and the wet earth.
You stopped laughing when you lay down in the hut
and opened your large eyes as you watched
the archangel practicing with a fiery sword—
“Inexplicable,” you said, “inexplicable.
I don’t understand people:
no matter how much they play with colors
they all remain pitch-black.”

Translated by Edmund Keeley & Philip Sherrard

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