Jonas Hallgrimsson

On New Year's Day (1845)

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Thus the years open, each of them in turn,
endlessly blooming flowers of transiency.
Their ceaseless passing is of no concern,
for time no longer means a thing to me.

I have a treasure of eternal worth:
a guardian heart which --- girded against harm ---
gazes on heaven but is content with earth,
and views the threatening fog without alarm.

"Always be tough!" they tell me. "Hold your own!"
But I would rather live and feel and see ---
even when this earns me men's antipathy ---

than be a hollow half-decayed sheepbone,
hidden by pack-train boys in piles of stone,
stuffed full of slander and obscenity.

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Jonas Hallgrimsson