Translation:The Train of Life
There’s always a bayonet, snow, or storm –
Eternally train will take me!
I came where I had to: the dull platform
No sense to repack so lately …
I had not the eyes for people – their bales –
Resurge will my eyes when perish!
It felt much the same: from lodgings stale
To cheapest third-classy carriage!
With lukewarm chops and warmless cheeks …
My soul, I would choose the gutter!
Still better than here, with the filthy reeks
Of everyday greasy clutter:
Hair-curlers, wet wrappers,
Red-heated hair snappers,
And oilcloth tatters,
(Like sewing ploys)
‘Where’s the coffee-pot, Royse?’
Pretzels and bed-sills and matrons and bacons
The dreariest chaperones and chaplets
I will not in this bundle of female flesh
Wait for my deathly doom!
I want for the train to be drunk and rash –
Death is no class’s boon!
For prowess, for rashness, for head-smashing crashness!
– How the devils do bother! –
And a God’s pilgrim saying: ‘In Kingdom come …’
I’ll yell, cutting in: ‘I’d rather!’
* * *
A platform. And rail-blocks. A lonely stalk
In grasp of my hand. Let go, now
Too late to hold on. Too tired of talk
I look at the stars from low down
And through the rainbow of planets gone
– Anyone tell how many? –
I look and I see: the doom is done
No sense to repent, not any