Attila József: BANQUET OF GREAT GIFTS

I give you a fist big ruby diamond,
Hang it around your neck and watch it shine on
Above your heart, in the middle of your breast,
Marvel how it glows, like embers, its lustre.

I weave a crown with my eyes for you,
As a goddess, I come to you so
I lay your way with silk and rhymes,
But don’t walk on it – it grows sighs.

If you’re thirsty, I’ll give you the finest wine,
But I leave a few darkening tears inside
And if you feel that the taste is bitter -,
Just drink it, there is no sweeter.

When your body feels cold, I give you my soul,
I wrap your two shoulders with velvet shawl.
And my trembling brain if you’re hungry -,
With me, you’ll be never needy.

And if your tired body wants to rest,
Rest in my arms, – there is no softer bed
And because you will need protection one day:
Accept, please, accept my arms to stay.

Accept them, and do with them whatever you feel,
Though you can’t be cruel to me.
Even if you don’t come, they will all remain yours,
They won’t be called back by weak hours.

Benyamin Bensalah

09.07.2021

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “NAGY AJÁNDÉKOK TORA” (1922).

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