Mihai Eminescu, Letter I
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LETTER ISCRISOAREA I
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When at night with weary eyelids, I blow off the candle light,
Cind cu genele ostenite sara suflu-n luminare
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Just the clock pursues relentless, long time's path into the night,
Doar ceasornicul urmeaza lunga timpului carare
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When you pull aside the curtains and the moon sends in its flow ,
Caci perdelele-ntro parte cind le dai si in odaie
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She suffuses all your bower in her lush voluptuous glow.Luna varsa peste toate voluptuoasa ei vapaie
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Of eternity's dark shadows she brings back eternal pains,
Ea din noaptea vesniciei o vecie-ntreaga scoate
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Of whose dreamlike reenactment but a passing shade remains.
De dureri pe care insa le simtim ca-n vis pe toate
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Sliding high upon the heavens, Moon you mistress of the seas,
Luna tu stapina marii peste a lumii bolta luneci
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You enlighten our reason and you put our pains at ease.Si gindirilor dind viata suferintele intuneci
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You turn thousand deserts blazing, lofty maiden of the night,
Mii pustiuri scinteiaza sub lumina ta fecioara
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And how many forests' shadows hide a spring that's sparkling bright!
Si citi codri ascund in umbra stralucire de izvoara!
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Myriad waves in your dominion, reaching over multitude,Peste cite mii de valuri stapinirea ta strabate
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When you float over the tides of moving oceans' solitude!
Cind plutesti pe miscatoarea marilor singuratate!
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Many shores of verdant splendor laying spellbound on the shelf,
Cite tarmuri inflorite, ce palate si cetati,
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Palaces and towns enchanted, which you’re showing to yourself!
Strabatute de-al tau farmec tie singura-ti arati!
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And in myriad of dwellings, sliding past the window's latch,Si in cite mii de case lin patruns-ai prin feresti
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Many brows immersed in thinking, thoughtful from the heavens watch!
Cite frunti pline de ginduri ginditoare le privesti!
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See a king who's scheming how to draw the globe into his lure
Vezi pe-un rege ce-mpinzeste globu-n planuri pe un veac
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When the troubles of tomorrow hardly matter to the poor...
Cind la ziua cea de miine deabia cuget-un sarac...
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Although fate assigned them surely, distinct lots on their first breath,
Desi trepte osebite le-au iesit din urna sortii
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They're both ruled by your enchantment and the genie of the death
Deopotriva-i stapineste raza ta si geniul mortii
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To the same array of passions, in the same degree enslaved,
La acelasi sir de patimi deopotriva fiind robi,
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Be they weak or be they mighty, be they genies or depraved
Fie slabi fie puternici, fie genii ori neghiobi !
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One is looking in the mirror to set up his curly hair,
Unul cauta-n oglinda de-si bucleaza al sau par,
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Other searches worlds and seasons looking for the truth in there.
Altul cauta in lume si in vreme adevar,
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From the volumes' yellowed pages he picks up a myriad shells,
De pe galbenele file el aduna mii de coji,
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And writes down in his old record their ephemeral names,A lor nume trecatoare le inseamna pe raboj,
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Yet another from his counter is partitioning the realm,Iara altu-mparte lumea de pe scindura tarabii,
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Counting all the gold the sea bears, black ships sailing under helm,
Socotind cit aur poarta marea-n negrele-i corabii,
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Over there, the old magister, in his shabby, tattered coat,
Iar colo batrinul dascal cu-a sa haina roasa-n coate,
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Draws an endless calculation whose result remains remote,
Intr-un calcul fara capat tot socoate si socoate,
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And he buttons up his old gown trembling in the winter freeze,
Si de frig la piept-si incheie tremurind halatul vechi
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Stuffs his neck into the collar, plugs the cotton in his ears;Isi infunda gitu-n guler si bumbacul in urechi;
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There he is, gaunt, bent and hunched, but for better or for worse,
Uscativ asa cum este, girbovit si de nimic,
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He's the undisputed master of the boundless universeUniversul fara margini e in degetul lui mic,
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For the past merges the future right below his thinking brows,
Caci sub frunte-I viitorul si trecutul se incheaga,
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Night’s eternal dark enigmas he unravels in his rows,
Noaptea-adinc-a vesniciei el in siruri o desleaga;
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Same as Atlas on his shoulder held the sky's immensity,
Precum Atlas in vechime sprijinea cerul pe umar,
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Such he poises on one number both world and eternity.Asa sprijina el lumea si vecia intr-un numar.
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As the moon shines in his chamber over heaps of books aglow,
Pe cind luna straluceste peste-a tomurilor bracuri,
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In a flash his mind is wandering thousand centuries ago,
Intr-o clipa-l poarta gindul indarat cu mii de veacuri,
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At the root was neither being or non-being in existence,La-nceput pe cind fiinta nu era nici nefiinta,
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All was lifeless, without willing or intention and persistence,
Pe cind totul era lipsa de viata si vointa,
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When no entity was hiding, though in hiding all was done,
Cind nu se-ascundea nimica desi tot era ascuns,
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In Himself immersed, was resting the Impenetrable One.
Cind patruns de sine insusi, odihnea cel nepatruns
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Was there an abyss, a chasm; was there spreading water motion?
Fu prapastie, genune, fu noian intins de apa?
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There were there no savvy people, and no mind to grasp the notion,
Na fost lume priceputa si nici minte s-o priceapa,
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For there was a sea of darkness lacking any ray of light,Caci era un intuneric ca o mare fara o raza,
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Neither was it ever seen nor an eye had pierced the night,
Dar nici de vazut nu fuse si nici ochi care s-o vaza,
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Shadows of things uncreated hadn't started to unfold,
Umbra celor nefacute nu-ncepuse a se desface,
Before Big Bang
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And itself serenely ruling, an eternal peace took hold.Si in sine impacata stapinea eterna pace,
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Suddenly a dot is moving, first and single in attire,
Dar deodat-un punct se misca..cel dintii si singur.Iata-l
Big Bang
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It makes mother out of chaos and itself becomes the sire.
Cum din chaos face muma, iara el devine tatal,
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Tiny spot in constant motion, weaker than a drop of foam,
Punctu-acela de miscare mult mai slab ca boaba spumii,
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Is the master without limits over all world’s borders home,E stapinul fara margini peste marginile lumii,
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Since that time, the endless darkness opens up in flowing strips,
De atunci negura eterna se desface in fisii,Galaxies
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Since that time arose the cosmos, moon and sun and stormy rips,
De atunci rasare lumea, luna soare si stihii,
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Since that time until the present, clusters of forgotten worlds,
De atunci si pina astazi colonii de lumi pierdute,
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From the foggy chaos' valleys, fare along obscure course,
Vin din sure vai de chaos pe carari necunoscute,
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And in shining flocks of sparkles, springing in an endless waving,
Si in roiuri luminoase izvorind din infinit
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Come attracted into being by immeasurable craving.Sunt atrase in viata de un dor nemarginit
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And in this enormous cosmos, we the kids of puny Earth,Iar in lumea asta mare, noi copii ai lumii mici,
Relativity of Time
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Mounds of anthills raising in the world from that time forth,
Facem pe pamintul nostru musuroaie de furnici,
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Kings and warriors and scholars, minute nations, grow prolific
Microscopice popoare, regi, osteni si invatati
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Generations in succession, we believe we are terrificNe succedem generatii si ne credem minunati
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Ephemeral flies inhabit a small world measured in cubits,
Musti de-o zi pe-o lume mica de se masura cu cotul,
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Spinning wild within the boundless, carelessly losing our wits,
In acea nemarginire ne-nvirtim uitind cu totul,
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That the universe is merely a suspended bit of time,
Cum ca lumea asta-ntreaga e o clipa suspendata,
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That behind it and ahead it, nothing is but the darkness' grime.
Ca-ndaratu-i si nainte-i intuneric se arata,
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Like the grains of dust are whirling in a shiny beam of light,
Precum pulberea se joaca in imperiul unei raze,
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Casting thousand threads of purple, that will vanish in the night,
Mii de fire viorie ce cu raza inceteaza,
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Likewise, within the abysmal darkness of eternity,Astfel intr-a vesniciei noapte pururea adinca
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Just for now we have the beaming light's enduring entity,Avem clipa, avem raza care tot mai tine inca,
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Is it sniffed out, all will perish like a shadow in the dark,
Cum s-o stinge, totul piere ca o umbra-n intuneric,
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For a dream of inexistence is the universe's mark..Caci e vis al nefiintii universul cel himeric....
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In the present doesn't tarry the researcher's mind; instead,
In prezent cugetatorul nu-si opreste a sa minte,
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In a flash his thought is carried thousand centuries ahead;
Ci-ntr-o clipa gindu-l duce mii de veacuri inainte;
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Our sun presently beaming, now appears reddish, sad,Soarele ce azi e mindru el il vede trist si ros,
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Like an open wound, obscured by an ominous dark cloud,
Cum se-nchide ca o rana printre nori-ntunecosi,
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He perceives the frozen planets breaking loose away in space,
Cum planetii toti ingheata si se-azvirl rebeli in spat,
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Out of light and sun's attraction they escape without a trace,
Ei din frinele luminii si ai soarelui scapati;
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Deep into the world's foundation utter blackness found its hold,
Iar catapeteasma lumii in adinc s-au innegrit,
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Like the falling leaves of autumn, perished all the stars of old,
Ca si frunzele de toamna toate stelele-au pierit
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Time's dead body is forever stretched into eternity,
Timpul mort si-intinde trupul si devine vecinicie,
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Nothing happens in the wasteland's barren space infinity,Caci nimic nu se intimpla in intinderea pustie,
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In the night of inexistence all is fallen dark and cold,Si in noaptea nefiintii totul cade, totul tace,
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And once more serenely ruling the eternal peace takes hold...
Caci in sine impacata reincepe eterna pace...
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Starting out low in the masses where the human race was bred,
Incepind la talpa insasi a multimii omenesti,
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And ascending up the ladder leading to the royal head,Si suind in susul scarii pin' la fruntile craiesti,
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We see all the people brooding on the riddle of their life,De a vietii lor enigma ii vedem pe toti munciti,
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Cannot say of them who's gotten the most miserable strife.
Far-a sti sa spunem care ar fi mai nenorociti...
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One there is in all the people and in every people one,Unul e in toti tot astfel precum una e in toate
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Up above the crowd are raising, barely, only those who can,
De asupra tuturora se ridica cine poate,
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While the others dwell in shadows, meekly with a humble heart,
Pe cind altii stind in umbra si cu inima smerita
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In anonymous oblivion like a grey shade they depart.Nestiuti se pierd in taina ca si umbra nezarita.
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Will the blind fate ever care what they want or what they think ?...
Ce-o sa-i pese soartei oarbe ce vor ei sau ce gindesc?...
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When it rolls over their lifetime, like a wave storm in a blink?.
Ca si vintu-n valuri trece peste traiul omenesc.
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May the writers gratulate him, may the public give him praise...
Fericeasca-l scriitorii, toata lumea recunoasca-l...
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What will get the old magister for himself out of this craze?
Ce-o sa aiba din acestea pentru el batrinul dascal?
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