A prayer to go to paradise with the donkeys

Estándar

When I must come to you O my God, I pray 

It be some dusty-roaded holiday, 

and even as in my travels here below, 

I beg to choose by what road I shall go 

to paradise, where the clear stars shine by day. 

*

I’ll take my walking-stick and go my way, 

and to my friends the donkeys I shall say, 

«I am Francis Jammes and I’m going to paradise, 

for there is no hell in the land of the loving God.» 

*

And I’ll say to them: «come sweet friends of the blue skies, 

poor creatures who, with the flap of the ears or a nod 

of the head, shake off the buffets, the bees, the flies…”

Let me come with these donkeys Lord into your land, 

these beasts who bow their heads so gently, and stand 

with their small feet joined together in a fashion 

utterly gentle, asking your compassion. 

*

I shall arrive, followed by their thousands of ears, 

followed by those with baskets at their flanks, 

by those who lug the carts of mountebanks 

or loads of feather-dusters and kitchen-wares, 

by those with humps of battered water-cans,

by bottle-shaped she-asses who halt and stumble, 

by those tricked out in little pantaloons 

to cover their wet, blue galls where flies assemble 

in whirling swarms, making a drunken hum. 

*

Dear God, let it be with these donkeys that I come, 

and let it be that angels lead us in peace 

to leafy streams, where cherries tremble in air, 

sleek as the laughing flesh of girls; and there

in that haven of souls, let it be that, leaning above 

Your divine waters, I shall resemble these donkeys,

whose humble and sweet poverty will appear 

clear in the clearness of your eternal love.

Francis Jammes. France (1868-1938)

traducido por Richard Wilbur

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