Song on the End of the World

Written on December 11, 2007 by DeansTalk in Arts & Cultures & Societies

Song on the End of the World

By Czeslaw Milosz

On the day the world ends

A bee circles a clover,

A Fisherman mends a glimmering net.

Happy porpoises jump in the sea,

By the rainspout young sparrows are playing

And the snake is gold-skinned as it it should always be.

On the day the world ends

Women walk through fields under their umbrellas

A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,

Vegetable peddlers shout in the street

And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,

The voice of a violin lasts in the air

And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder

Are disappointed.

And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps

Do not believe it is happening now.

As long as the sun and the moon are above,

As long as the bumblebee visits a rose

As long as rosy infants are born

No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet,

Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,

Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:

No other end of the world there will be,

No other end of the world there will be.

Warsaw, 1944


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