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J. KARÁSEK ZE LVOVIC

 

1. THE DREAM.

 

Was it yesterday? Was it a hundred years since?
I know not, but very weary and infirm I was,
And my steps were the steps of a man who walks in a dream.
And I went through darksome causeways
And vacant and empty they were, and in them the wind moaned.
So grievously moaned . . .
And from a turret the hour chimed. . . And meseemed,
That this voice summoned me into the vault of a temple,
Where beneath heavy slabs with knightly ecutcheons
Slumber my ancestors . . .
Am I living or dead? I know not, but meseems,
That although these causeways are strange and unknown to me,
I have wandered therein of old,—
Was it yesterday or a hundred years since?
In this or in that life?
I know not, but my gait is firm and unwavering
As the gait of a man who wanders a wonted path.

And I hear the creaking of door-posts,
And hands unseen are opening
Heavy portals of a gloomy palace.
And I tread the stair-way of black marble
And my steps call into the darkness
And dead spaces answer unto them—
And I stride so firmly through darkness of passages
And pace the emptiness of ancient halls,
Ancestral halls,
At the sides of which I forebode pictures of grandsires
And tatters of captured banners
And rusted weapons from old-time combats,
Which savour of murder. . .
And I feel the mildew that bedecks all,
And the air, that the dead inhale.
And I see flickering in the darkness
Shadows of alarm and sorrowful crape.
And I feel how my heart is beating vehemently,
And my temples, how they are moistened with sweat
And anguish clutches me for what I have endured,
And what long is no more.

"Conversations with Death" (1904).

 
Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.
Original:

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1951, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 60 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

 
Translation:

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1970, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.