[My gardens, how white]

Poem By Marí Antoni

My gardens, how white. How chill
the chambers. How dead is the life
all around me. Snow crystal the halls,
and like ice the courtiers' breath.
How short the days, how dark
the regions. How long the darkness of the days
of winter. My friends, where are they?
Where are the beautiful ladies? The musicians and the children?

Can the prince's will not move the winter?
Can his longing not dispel the cold?
My hands are dead. Frost
stiffens every finger. I cannot pick up the pen,
or make the flute sound. I cannot calm the winds
with the viola, or thaw the ice
with the violin's bow.

I cannot read the books by this northern light:
my mind freezes, like the frozen palace.
I am dying all alone amid the hoar-frost
and no star can sustain my lament.

Translated by Graham Thomson

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