Robert Elsie | AL Art | AL History | AL Language | AL Literature | AL Photography | Contact |

 

 

 

 

Robert Elsie

Albanian Literature | Early Authors

BACK

Frontispiece showing Pjetër Budi at prayer. From Budi's "Paschyra e të rrëfyemit", Rome 1621 (Vatican Library, Racc. Gen. Liturgia V. 35).

Frontispiece showing Pjetër Budi at prayer. From Budi's "Paschyra e të rrëfyemit", Rome 1621 (Vatican Library, Racc. Gen. Liturgia V. 35).

Frontispiece showing Pjetër Budi at prayer. From Budi's "Paschyra e të rrëfyemit", Rome 1621 (Vatican Library, Racc. Gen. Liturgia V. 35).

 

Webdesign J. Groß

Pjetër BUDI

 

Oh, Hapless, Luckless Man

"Here I wish to say a few words
on the subject of Death, vanity
and the ingratitude of man."

Oh, hapless, luckless man,
Forever lost in evil,
Giv'n over to conceit, and
Dazed, in sin enveloped.

Be you young or be you old,
Be you lord or be you servant,
Why can't you see and fathom
The mire that you re made of?

You're black soil and you're mud,
And not of gold a-sparkling,
You're not sprung from the angels,
Nor carved of cherished jewels.

Whence does your strength derive
In vanity to revel,
The good Lord, to oppose him
In all his glorious splendour?

Your own renown alone
You beheld and acknowledged,
When born into this world,
Forsaken by your mother.

With you appeared no wealth,
No riches, lavish treasures,
No wisdom, knavish cunning,
No values, precious gemstones.

With you appeared no greatness,
You had no gift for speaking,
No courage and no virtue,
And nothing to assist you.

With you appeared no bearing,
No swift and handsome horses,
No bloodline and no family,
No good you've brought or evil.

For you were birthed defiled,
Forsaken by your mother,
And in a venomed clamour
You cried out in your longing.

For this was all you knew,
You had nought to assist you.
You had no gift for speaking,
All filthy and all sullied.

All you could do was wail,
And in a venomed clamour
You offered nothing more
Than futile lamentation.

You came into this world
To suffer but affliction,
Your tears flowed, arrows pierced you,
With hostile men encircled.

You're full of wrath, and bitter,
Exposed and sore neglected,
The life that you are leading
Is but that of a prisoner.

[excerpt from O paa fati nierij, from the volume Dottrina christiana, Rome: Bartolomeo Zannetti, 1618, taken here from the edition Pjetër Budi: Poezi (1618-1621), Parathënia, tejshkrimi, komentet: Rexhep Ismajli (Prishtina: Rilindja, 1986), p. 64-67. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

 

The Deed of Cain

Vile hound, what have you done
By that bloody deed committing?
May the earth, when it espies you,
Hide in darkness and in mourning.

May all your efforts fail,
May your wishes be frustrated,
May seed on your fields wither
And no fruit grow ripe to harvest.

When first your mouth you opened,
Your brother's blood imbibing,
With your own hands you slew him,
And the crime did heaven witness!

The skies were torn asunder,
And through the void you wandered,
Both day and night a-weeping,
And death your eyes envisioned.

Ceaseless, searching ever
Like a wild beast in the wasteland,
Dazed do you now wander,
Mad dog upon this planet.

[excerpt from Si muorë me u nçtuom, from the volume Dottrina christiana, Rome: Bartolomeo Zannetti, 1618, taken here from the edition Pjetër Budi: Poezi (1618-1621), Parathënia, tejshkrimi, komentet: Rexhep Ismajli (Prishtina: Rilindja, 1986), p. 114-115. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]