The Magic Cup

I my secret drawer I have a marvelous glass. A welcome-cup when I am merry, a chalice when I am mournful. It is crafted of pure gold. Its handle is in the form of unseen godlike fairies and nymphs. The vessel itself is shaped like a heart. On its rim, finely chisselled with the exactness of a Benedictine goldsmith, are vines, while on its sides as on Achilles' shield, one can see the Croatian vineyard and the small racemes; in the vineyard, the fairies the bachantes, the dodolas*, the jesters and the shepherds all dance the kolo * * and take pleasure in wine, music, in the love of good times, around the musing, tired and magic youth who is like the grapevine in flower: Bacchus, the Liberator.

Only in certain moments do I reach out for this mysterious cup, on which, among the blood-red rubies, pain-filled emeralds, and pearls the word glitters--Croatia. In such moments my soul wells up with demonly wine, while into my chest enters a warmth of generosity, and in my eye, not accustomed to that, appear the tear of youth, the tear of prayer, the tear of pity, your tear, enamored Psyche, and also your tear, God's Son of Nazareth, born between the donkey and the ox, as tomorrow we shall sing it.

Tomorrow, too my magic cup shall be filled with the potion of the new life. And I shall drink it as a symbol of the love of Christ, forgiving all offenses, and singing as is traditional:

The first glass for the Croatians,
For their concord and brotherhood.

And the cup--the enchantress cup--will grow, grow until it becomes a huge basin filled with purple: — and in the evening sunset I shall bathe all of my precious cup's figures, gods, godesses, fairies, shepherds, musicians and pipers, awaiting in the game, music, and laughter for magic sleep to wrap us in velvet and spill into our cup of happiness the glaring magic of his stars: the stars of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

* A gril in a rainmaking group who invokes the rain with her song (Croatian folklore).
* A Croatian folk wheel-dance, or reel.

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