Page:A Book of Czech Verse.pdf/77

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P. Bezruč (Born 1867)

P. BEZRUČ
(Born 1867)

 

WHO COMES IN MY PLACE?

I have so little blood,
And yet, down from my mouth
How it flows!
When there grows spreading grass on my grave,
When I rot in the field,
Who comes then in my place?
Who will lift up my shield?

I stood shrouded in smoke from the furnaces’ glow,
With the night in my eyes, with the flame in my breath,
In the light of the sun, in the evening gloom;
And I scowled as I measured the killers within:
The Jews with their wealth and the lords with their rank,
I repulsive—a miner still foul from the pit.
Though a head gave the flash of a diadem bright,
Yet they sensed my defiance, the fist that I clenched.
Then each one, at my gaze, with uneasiness fills,
At the hate of a miner from Beskydan hills.

I have so little blood,
And yet down from my mouth
How it flows!
When there grows spreading grass on my grave,
When I rot in the field,
Who will stand at my post?
Who will lift up my shield?

 

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