A Song about the End of the World

On the day of the end of the world
A bee circles above the nasturtium,
A fisherman works on his silvery net.
Playful dolphins leap high in the ocean,
the young sparrows cling on to the downpipe
the snake has a golden skin, as he should have.

On the day of the end of the world
the women cross the field holding umbrellas,
the drunk falls asleep at the grass’s edge,
in the street cry the vendors of produce
and a boat with a yellow sail reaches the island
and unlocks the night full of stars.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected portents and archangels’ trumpets
Don’t accept that it’s happening now.
While there’s a sun and moon up above,
While the bumblebee visits the rose,
While rosy children are still being born,
None will believe it’s happening now.

Just one grey old man who could have at one time been a prophet,
But is not now a prophet, is kept otherwise busy,
Tells us while he is tying his tomatoes:
There’ll be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.

Czesław Miłosz

Wersja polska „Piosenka o końcu świata”

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