Farewell! A poem by Valeriu Gafencu


The poem was written in communist prisons and memorized by Valeriu Gafencu’s friends.
I would be happy and grateful for any suggestions for improving the translation. You can see the Romanian version below. 


Farewell
 
Bleeding out from wounds so deep,
From gloomy, sunless days,
From hidden wounds, with bones so weak,
 Buried in pus always,
I’m crouching in my bed. An adieu,
I think, I’ll tell to all of you,
My dear friends!
 
Cry not that I depart from you,
That they will throw me like a piece of trash
Within a tomb where thieves will be my crew.
The creed for which I’ll give my final breath
Asked for a hard life and a martyr’s death.
 
With Jesus as my Lord and King,
I rushed through the narrow gate, entered the ring,
And with the devil I began to fight.
And I did fight all years, day and night,
So that I become another,
A champion,
A new man.
 
And I desired,
By this thought I was fired,
To take my people in flight
To our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Now, when I see that I am so sinful, that I crawl,
That I’m so helpless and so small,
That I need mercy in my illness,
And love, compassion, much forgiveness,
That only God can do all things,
Can change man’s shackles into wings,
I too become a meek, small boy,
I’m humbled,
And in my heart there’s joy.
 
From your high, eternal Heaven,
My Father, when you take me up to You,
Remember all my friends here on earth:
Give back to them, dressed all in white, a levin,
A soul that loved and understood them, too.

(the last stanza is missing)
 
 
 
In Romanian:
Rămas-bun
 
Sângerând de răni adânci,
De zile fără soare,
De răni ascunse şi puroi,
Cu oasele slabe şi moi,
Stau ghemuit în pat şi mă gândesc
Că în curând am să vă părăsesc,
Prieteni dragi!
 
Nu plângeţi că mă duc de lângă voi,
Şi c-o să fiu zvârlit ca un gunoi,
Cu hoţii în acelaşi cimitir;
Căci crezul pentru care m-am jertfit
Cerea o viaţă grea şi-o moarte de martir.
 
Luându-L pe Iisus de Împărat,
Năvalnic am intrat pe poarta strâmtă,
Luându-mă cu diavolul la trântă.
Şi ani de-a rându-ntr-una m-am luptat
Să devin altul,
Un erou,
Om nou.
 
Şi-am vrut
Neamul să-l mut
De-aici, de jos,
La Domnul Iisus Hristos.
 
Acum, când văd cât sunt de păcătos,
De mic şi de neputincios,
Că am nevoie multă de-ndurare,
De dragoste, de milă, de iertare,
Că numai Dumnezeu le poate toate
Şi lumea din robie El o scoate,
Devin copil supus,
Sunt umilit
Şi-s fericit.
 
Din cerul Tău înalt şi prea-ales,
Părinte, când mă vei lua la Tine,
Prietenilor mei de pe pământ
Redă-le Tu, în alb veşmânt,
Un suflet care i-a iubit şi i-a’nţeles.
(lipseşte ultima strofă)
 
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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.
This entry was posted in Communist Persecution, Orthodoxy, Poetry, Romania. Bookmark the permalink.

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