Friday, September 28, 2012

Seven Years of Servitude

Jacob & Rachel by William Dyce (1853)
It's been seven years since we moved to Utah and it's about seven more before I can even think of retiring and going on a church mission with my wife. A sonnet sort of on that theme keeps rattling in my brain. Let me share this beautiful piece from the 16th Century Portuguese Writer, Luis Vaz de Camões. His work follows, then my own inferior translation:

Sete anos de pastor Jacob servia
Labão, pai de Raquel, serrana bela;
mas não servia o pai, servia a ela,
e a ela só por prémio pretendia.
Os dias, na esperança de um só dia,
passava, contentando-se com vê-la;
porém o pai, usando de cautela,
em lugar de Raquel lhe dava Lia.
Vendo o triste pastor que com enganos
lhe fora assi negada a sua pastora,
como se não a tivera merecida,
Começa de servir outros sete anos,
dizendo: Mais servira, se não fora
para tão longo amor tão curta a vida!
Seven years as shepherd Jacob served
Laban, father of Rachel beautiful country maid
But he did not serve the father, he served her
And she only was the prize he wanted

The days, in the hope of one only day,
Passed, having to be content seeing her

But the father, in his cunning,
In place of Rachel gave him Leah

The sad shepherd seeing that with trickery
Was thus denied his shepherdess
As if he had not deserved her

Began to serve another seven years
Saying: More would I serve if it were not
For so long a love, so short a life!

Well, it brings tears to my eyes. At least I have my Rachel.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Feel free to disagree as many do. You can even be passionate (in moderation). Comments that contain offensive language, too many caps, conspiracy theories, gratuitous Mormon bashing, personal attacks on others who comment, or commercial solicitations- I send to spam. This is a troll-free zone. Charity always!