Onder de titel ‘Songs of faith’ zijn 38 gedichten van Willem de Mérode vertaald naar het Engels. De vertaling is uitgevoerd door 38 gedichten, Hans Osinga ».
The purging salt I have to win in pains and rushed to haste,
which can, with tart and titillating taste,
arouse again your dulled, insipid fancy;
unclean, cast out I carry out my duty.
You tend the holy fire! The budding flower you see,
which every evening blossoms on your handsome gasolier,
as though from o’er a thousand withered bushes bursts spring’s passion,
as though a sudden flow of summer wakes them from their hibernation.
You tend the holy fire! But all the sparks, for ages fossilized,
concealed exquisiteness, in course of times completely petrified,
I found, from coal-dust suffocated, drunk with vapours foul and heavy.
And what I lack myself, I’ve granted you, acquisitive and greedy.
And when the luxury of you expensive chandelier
tinges the grey of evening and grants it heart-felt glee,
know that my darkness lights you night,
your laugh is bred by my sad plight.
The gold, the god who reigns in deeds and thoughts,
I dug its dead omnipotence from deep, dark shafts.
(who can obtain it, is well off; who’s lost it, comes to grief.)
And ah! Its living benefit is meant for their relief:
When on the swelling wood the tender leaves are seen,
a girl and her beloved are dreaming in the green.
Then he will kiss her face, while both his hands are trembling,
when on her little finger, he slips the wedding-ring.
They have their marriage-feast and meet their obligations.
their house and yard resound with children’s exclamations;
their tender daughters are as sweet as are the grassy meads,
their sons four-square and faithful as are the shaggy fields.
To all of them the work imparts a mild and golden glowing;
im keeping with their noble mien their faces show profound rejoicing.
The long day brings to them a deep and blissful tiredness;
their laugh and sleep are always wholly free from care and painless.
The god whom I brought up, my quaking hands
just hold his splendour from some short-lived moments.
My fingers cherish him, my hungry hands are burning.
Then, for my little strength, a too hard load his weight is turning.
And grudgingly I let it go and working I steep down;
I take my paltry wages; I buy my food in town.
I have my spell of sleep and work painstakingly;
so I et free the god who has not set me free.
Yet one day God will comfort me and put an end to this:
the good Almighty ‘ll beckon and the Saviour in distress;
and with His silent smile I shall remember what I lacked:
the good I wrought and gave… but in my death I’m blessed.