The Lilacs (Sireenit), Saima Harmaja



Harmaja faces death squarely and honestly. The things she should relish are simply reminders of what she will shortly lose.

Behold the lilacs now are breaking out!
Now all the vegetation is enchanted,
it sweet and purple straggles where it’s planted,
and dewy tears are glittering all about.

Oh, crop of blooming clusters now displayed!
As if they’re steeped in joy their perfume pleases –
and as they sway they breathe the gentle breezes,
and in the light they darken and they fade.

Oh turn away your face for now it tires
of dazzling light and heat and bursting fragrance!
A human heart it can’t endure such flagrance,
it cannot stand such bliss, for it expires.


Oi katso, sireenit on puhjenneet!
Nyt hymyy joka pensas lumottuna,
ne verhoo herkkä, armas sinipuna,
ja kimaltelee kasteen kyyneleet.

Oi runsautta kukkaisterttujen!
Kuin läpitunkemina onnen täyden
ne hengittävät hennon tuulen käyden,
valossa tummuen ja himmeten.

Pois käännä kasvosi, sa uupuva
tään valon, lämmön, tuoksun kyllyydestä!
Ei ihmissydämesi ahdas kestä
näin tajuamatonta autuutta.

Translation by Rupert Moreton


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