Gyula Krúdy, ‘Sindbad’s Prayer’ (From The Adventures of Sindbad, 1944)

Lord, give me untroubled dreams and a quiet night. Stop my ears against words poured into it by women. Help me forget the scent of their hair, the strange lightning of their eyes, the taste of their hands and the moist kisses of their mouths. Lord, you are wise, advise me when they are lying, which is always. Remind me that the truth is something they never tell. That they never do love. Lord, up there, far beyond the tower, think occasionally of me, a poor, foolish man, admirer of women, who believes in their smiles, their kisses, their tickling and their blessed lies. Lord, let me be a flower in that garden where lonely women retreat in the knowledge that no one’s by. Let me be a lantern in the house of love where women mutter and babble and sigh the same old words. Let me be the handkerchief into which they weep their false tears. Lord, let me be just a gatepost ladies pass lightheartedly while clinging to the arms of their suitors. Lord protect me, never let me fall into the hands of women.

Translated by George Szirtes.

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~ by ohkrapp on March 7, 2013.

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