Old Louis

Aug. 29th, 2013 12:54 pm
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This is my translation of a short poem by [livejournal.com profile] alan_christian. The original is here.
I am very grateful to John C Q Roberts for his generous help and advice on this work.

Old Louis

Old Louis never read the Bible nor any Holy Books.
Old Louis never was known for his piety
And his simple hope is based on the belief,
That if you cannot live without a person, they will return to life.

Old Louis doesn't know the Law nor does he fear the powers that be,
He did no harm to others throughout his life.
Old Louis now three years long hasn't a fixed abode.
He is just a dog, in fact, with some Labrador blood in him.

His schedule is very simple - the church gates each morning.
He's known there, frail old ladies will give him food.
One of them buys him scraps with her own little money -
Two old and lonely souls with an understanding so good.

"Good Boy" they say to him, and they possibly cried today.
And he is happy with the first and unhappy with the last.
After eating, Old Louis prays - with his paws and his tail.
And God hears him and God will repay one hundred-fold.

After this feast and prayer - the well-beaten path to the cemetery,
To the same grey gravestone - three years as one day.
That's where he'd left his master, so where else now for him to go,
To sense him daily, to sit, waiting for his return?

The master's scent is almost gone but the memory lingers on.
Tongues have ceased, knowledge has vanished. Even the house is sold.
Autumn sun warms the gravestone and the bone is clean.
So here Life's Thread is waiting now to be unwound,
And for Old Louis, by the Weaver, the master would be returned.

Translated by Alex Nikitin


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