Endre Ady

Memory Of A Summer Night

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An angry angel hurled from the heavenly height
Drumroll alarms onto the sombre earth,
Hundreds of stars burnt out their light,
Hundreds of young brains were overturned,
Hundreds of veils were torn, defiled:
It was a curious,
Curious summer night.

Our old beehives burst into flame,
Our loveliest filly broke her leg,
I dreamt that the dead came back to light.
Our faithful dog, Burkus, disappeared,
Our good servant Meg, mute all these years,
Shrilled sudden chants of a savage rite:
It was a curious,
Curious summer night.

The worthless were swaggering bravely,
Fancy robbers went out to rob,
And true-hearted men had to hide:
It was a curious,
Curious summer night.

We gathered that man was imperfect,
Tight-fisted when sharing his love,
But still, it just couldn't be right,
The live and the dead on the turning wheel:
Has man ever been a punier mite,
And the Moon in a more mocking mood
Than on that terrible night?
It was a curious,
Curious summer night.

And horror leaned over the spirits
with malevolent, gloating delight:
The secrets of every forefather
Dwelt deep in the souls of the sons.
And Thought, the proud servant of Man,
Inebriated, went out to lead
His blood-shedding, dreadful Wedding Feast.
That lad was lowly, lame, contrite:
It was a curious,
Curious summer night.

I know I believed that on that night
Some neglected God would soon alight
To take me and deliver me to death,
But I am still alive, though different,
Transfigured by that shattering event,
And as I am waiting for a God,
I remember that terror-haunted,
Devastating, world-burying night:
It was a curious,
Curious summer night.

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Endre Ady