Death Of A Deer

The drought had killed any pale of windThe sun had melted, the dust stayed skinned.What was ere left was a parched sky a-flood.From shafts lean buckets are welling out mud.Over the forests, increasingly – fires, fires,Are dancing in savage, satanical spires.I take after father a-hill through trees arid,And fir trees claw on me, both evil and torrid.We both set out for the hunting of goats,The hunt of famine in the Carpathian mounts.My thirst scourges me. The small rill of waterFrom wells boils on the boulders.My temples are pressing against the shoulder. I am treading as ifOn another planet, heavy, immense. We were lying in wait in a place where stillSprings make sounds with quiet billow's strings,When the sun melts down, when the moon begins,It is thence where the deers, one by one,Proceed to have their quiet fill. I tell father I am thirsty and he beckons me to shushConfounding water, oh, how clear you bounce!I feel the bond of thirst with that that's bound to fadeAt times outlawed by canon and by customs. As on an altar, ferns flare in bluish flames,Bedazzled stars spurt twinkling in-between,Woe, how I wish you didn't come, you didn't come,Beauteous martyr of my forest, queen! And still, the valleys roared.Wobbling, I went and closedThe shady eyes, dolefully flanked by horns,And startled ghostly-silent when my fatherGasped gladly in my ear: 'We have meat!' I tell my father I am thirsty and he beckons me to drink.Bedazzling water, oh, how dark your swagger!I feel the bond of thirst with the begotten thing that diedAt times outlawed by canon and by customs. What is a heart? I'm hungry! I'd like to live and would…You, virgin-deer forgive me, my creature of the wood.I'm weary. How do the flames soar high! The woods seem deep!I weep. What does my father think? I eat and weep. I eat! Translated by Andreea Călugăriţă

by Nicolae Labiş (1935-1956)