Translation:The High Mountains/43

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The High Mountains  (1918)  by Zacharias Papantoniou, translated from Greek by Wikisource
The Malediction of the Pine 
The Malediction of the Pine 


You have cut down the pine, Yannis
But why? Why?”

“It's the wind that whispers...” Yannis said to himself
and he walked on.

Stones and pebbles get hot, and the heath
is blazing,

He must find a spring, small
a tiny stream.

Under the sun's fire, in the middle of the fields
there a bush...

Yannis lies down underneath to find
a little shade.

But the bush gathers up its branches,
it goes away!

“Then I will never be able to rest, said Yannis.
But why? Why?”


—Yannis, where do you want to go like this?
—To the Two Villages

—And you are still down here?
It's so far!

—But I keep moving, I keep moving,
Is it my fault?

The high forest becomes shadow and flees from me,
and leaves me behind.

—When did you leave? Days ago...
At least two... or three...

My mind is muddled today,
but why, I don't know...

—Here you are, a spring, drink then a little water,
to refresh yourself.

He leans over to drink from the spring,
it dries up immediately.


The days passed, as did the months,
time flies by;

Yannis stays at the same place,
Although he runs here and there...

Autumn comes and its rains!
But not a tree.

Hail, storm
hit him straight on.


“Yannis, why did you destroy this tree,
so generous,

Which threw its shadow on the herds
and shepherds?

The pin rustled in the wind
—you hear it? You hear it?

And singing like a flute
among true friends.

You took its heath and its branches,
its coolness,

Its resin gushed in streams from
its wounds.

It was mutilated but upright,
until the year

when for the wood, Yannis, you chopped it down,


By your grace, I prostrate myself
small shrine.

Help me to arrive, no matter when,
so I can put down...

My mother must be waiting for me,
and my shepherdess...

Also I had the harvests... What time is it,
what season?

I left in summer

Then winter came,
surprised me on the way.

Once again it's July and its heat!
For how long? And how?

My God, stop the forest
which takes flight.

My God, this journey is without end
—I beg you

I want to fall down, I want to die,
here, close by.


Like a tree under the axe, he falls down...
breathes with great difficulty.

Far from him the forest has risen up,
very far away.

Everything around him, not a blade of grass,
no more voices.

In the middle of the thorns, of the plain, of the desert
he died.