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English language
Limba Romana
Days go past, and days come still,
All is old and all is new,
What is well and what is ill,
You imagine and construe
Do not hope and do not fear,
Waves that leap like waves must fall;
Should they praise or should they jeer,
Look but coldly on it all.

Things you'll meet of many a kind,
Sights and sounds, and tales no end,
But to keep them all in mind
Who would bother to attend?...
Very little does it matter,
If you can yourself fulfil,
That with idle, empty chatter
Days go past and days come still.

Little heed the lofty ranging
That cold logic does display
To explain the endless changing
Of this pageantry of joy,
And which out of death is growing
But to last an hour or two;
For the mind profoundly knowing
All is old and all is new.

As before some troupe of actors,
You before the world remain;
Act they Gods, or malefactors,
'Tis but they dressed up again.
And their loving and their slaying,
Sit apart and watch, until
You will see behind their playing
What is well and what is ill.

What has been and what to be
Are but of a page each part
Which the world to read is free.
Yet who knows them off by heart?
All that was and is to come
Prospers in the present too,
But its narrow modicum
You imagine and construe.

With the selfsame scales and gauges
This great universe to weigh,
Man has been for thousand ages
Sometimes sad and sometimes gay;
Other masks, the same old story,
Players pass and reappear,
Broken promises of glory;
Do not hope and do not fear.

Do not hope when greed is staring
O'er the bridge that luck has flung,
These are fools for not despairing,
On their brows though stars are hung;
Do not fear if one or other
Does his comrades deep enthral,
Do not let him call you brother,
Waves that leap like waves must fall.

Like the sirens' silver singing
Men spread nets to catch their prey,
Up and down the curtain swinging
Midst a whirlwind of display.
Leave them room without resistance,
Nor their commentaries cheer,
Hearing only from a distance,
Should they praise or should they jeer.

If they touch you, do not tarry,
Should they curse you, hold your tongue,
All your counsel must miscarry
Knowing who you are among.
Let them muse and let them mingle,
Let them pass both great and small;
Unattached and calm and single,
Look but coldly on it all.

Look but coldly on it all,
Should they praise or should they jeer;
Waves that leap like waves must fall,
Do not hope and do not fear.
You imagine and construe
What is well and what is ill;
All is old and all is new,
Days go past and days come still.

Translated by

Corneliu M. Popescu
Vreme trece, vreme vine,
Toate-s vechi si noua toate,
Ce e rau si ce e bine
Tu te-n treaba si socoate;
Nu spera si nu ai teama,
Ce e val ca valul trece;
De te-ndeamna, de te chema,
Tu ramai la toate rece.

Multe trec pe dinainte,
In auz ne suna multe,
Cine tine toate minte
Si ar stea sa le asculte?...
Tu aseaza-te deoparte,
Regasindu-te pe tine,
Cand cu zgomote desarte
Vreme trece, Vreme vine.

Nici incline a ei limba
Recea cumpan-a gandirii
Inspre clipa ce se schimba
Pentru masca fericirii,
Ce din moartea ei se naste
Si o clipa tine poate;
Pentru cine o cunoaste
Toate-s vechi si noua toate.

Privitor ca la teatru
Tu in lume sa te-nchipui;
Joace unul si pe patru,
Totusi tu ghici-vei chipu-i,
Si de plange, de se cearta,
Tu in colt petreci in tine
Si-ntelegi din a lor arta
Ce e rau si ce e bine.

Viitorul si trecutul
Sunt a ilei doua fete,
Vede-n capat inceputul
cine stie sa le-nvete;
Tot ce-a fost ori o sa fie
In prezent le-avem pe toate,
Dar de-a lor zadarnicie
Te intreaba si socoate.

Caci acelorasi mijloace
Se supun cate exista,
si de mii de ani incoace
Lumea-i vesela si trista;
Alte masti, aceeasi piesa,
Alte guri, aceeasi gama,
Amagit atat de-adese
Nu spera si nu ai teama

Nu spera cand vezi miseii
La izbanda facand punte,
Te-or intrece nataraii,
De ai fi cu stea in frunte;
Teama n-ai, cata-vor iarasi
Intre dansii sa se plece,
Nu te prinde lor tovaras:
Ce e val ca valul trece.

Cu un cantec de sirena,
Lumea-ntinde lucii mreje;
Ca sa schimbe-actorii-n scena,
Te momeste in varteje;
Tu pe-alaturi te strecoara,
Nu baga nici chiar de seama,
Din cararea ta afara
De te-ndeamna, de te chema

De te-ating sa feri in laturi,
De hulesc, sa taci din gura;
Ce mai vrei cu-a tale sfaturi,
Daca stii a lor masura;
Zica toti ce vor sa zica,
Treaca-n lume cine-o trece;
Ca sa nu-ndragesti nimica,
Tu ramai la toate rece.

Tu ramai la toate rece,
De te-ndeamna, de te chema;
Ce e val ca valul trece,
Nu spera si nu ai teama;
Te intreaba si socoate
Ce e rau si ce e bine;
Toate-s vechi si noua toate;
Vreme trece, vreme vine.

1883, 9 sept - dec.

Mihail Eminescu
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