V. Nezval (Born 1900)
A FAREWELL—A HANDKERCHIEF
Farewell. So, if we never meet again,
Then this was enough: a fragrant memory.
Farewell. And if we pledged to meet again,
Perhaps another guest would come—not we.
The time was sweet—but all things have an end.
Then toll no more: I know that bitterness,
The kiss, the handkerchief, the siren and the bell,
A smile or two, and then the loneliness.
Farewell. And if we never speak again,
Let there remain a little souvenir,
Airy as a handkerchief, simpler than a card,
Deceptive, like the scent of gilt veneer.
And if I saw what others have not seen,
So much the better, swallow, homeward on the wing:
You showed me South, where hidden lies your nest;
Your fate it is to fly, my fate to sing.
Farewell. And if this was indeed the end,
So much the worse for hope whose life is gone;
For if we wish to meet, then never part.
Farewell—a handkerchief—and fate come on.