The Mine: a poem by Valeriu Gafencu

Another poem of Valeriu Gafencu, named by many the Saint of Prisons. Gafencu’s life ended in one of the communist political prisons that were spread throughout Romania immediately after the end of WWII.

I translated the poem from Romanian. You also have the original at the end. Any suggestions are always welcome.

The Mine 
A humble, simple thought–a gladsome light
From our mine rises to You in flight;
A soul that bathes in tears slowly prays:
“Oh, come, so that my sins from me you raise!

Then on my tranquil forehead place your hand
And gently call my name toward Your land,
Just as You called your friend out of the grave;
Oh, Jesus, give me water, please, I pray!

And Bread, and living Water from the Vine,
To feel life in my branches as a sign;
And in Your mercy, give me a clean heart
The hour when I joyfully depart
From our world of bitter wandering;
Make me a witness of Your face shining. 

Jesus, Lord, to us please come at dawn, 
Prisoners call You before they’re gone.
Oh, come, and to this mine give light,
And bless us all with all your might!”

In Romanian:



Un gând smerit si simplu, o lumina,

Spre Tine se înalta lin din mina

Si sufletul înlacrimat se roaga:

“O, vino, de pacate ma dezleaga!


Pe fruntea mea senina mâna-Ti pune

Si cheama-ma încetisor pe nume,

Cum Ti-ai chemat prietenul din groapa;

Te rog, Iisuse, da-mi un pic de apa!


Da-mi Pâine, Apa vie da-mi din Vita,

Sa simt pulsând viata în mladita,

Din mila Ta, da-mi inima curata

Si fata Ta divina Ti-o arata

In ceasul fericitei mele despartiri

De lumea asprei noastre pribegiri.


Iisuse Doamne, vino-n zori,

Te cheama cei din închisori,

O, vino, mina lumineaza,

Pe noi ne binecuvinteaza!”

In Romania, such loaves of bread are made for the memory of the deceased.


About Tavi's Corner

Blogging on ancient philosophy, communist persecution in Romania (including deportation to Siberia), and Orthodox Christianity. I've translated books from Romanian to English, and I also write about them from time to time.
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