Christmas Eves Twice Alas

My life! Do not remind me that it is miserable, wretched, drowsy, entirely downtrodden and depressed, worth of but shame and scorn. If I still could remember Greek — you see, that too — I forgot! — I should indicate as the title page of the tragedy of my life a page which begins Io, Io, papapai, which is Alas, alas, woe is me. How lovely it would be just to march about over the fields, to run, swim, to be merry, to rejoice with no restriction. How many times I dream of the happy days when my torn shoes will not keep injuring my foot, when I shall wear entirely fresh-laundered underwear, when I will not have to scuff around the small ragged books and the greasy notes. How overjoyed, after all, I would feel paddling on the little lakes surrounded by the velvety groves! But life has so knitted, destroyed, devastated, and drew me tight as if with pliers between two damned trifling epigrams. How clearly I now see that personally we are powerless (before the Augean stables) we little poets and dreamers, and how we are condemned to be the toy of the winds and the victim of those who are powerful and astute. What is so beautiful about my memory to be preserved? — Only my tears and my prayers, because they have been pure. But, according to the saying it is hard to look at the body and at the soul without disgust and mourning, because everything becomes a wound, a boil, a stigma, a festering sore, a scar.

Alas, alas, alas.

Translated by Carolyn Owlett Hunter
(Contributed by Jery on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011)
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