Thought, yet more thought! Poor artist of the word,
thought’s priest! For you there can be no forgetting;
it’s all here, here are people and the world
and death and life and truth without a veil.
Ah! Chisel, cello, brush, happy the man
drawn to you by his senses, going no further.
He can drink freely at the world’s great feast!
But in your presence, thought, in your sharp rays,
before your unsheathed sword, our life grows pale.
by Евгений Абрамович Баратынский (Yevgeny Abramovich Baratynsky)
translated by Peter France
Like a painting it is set before one,
But less brittle, ageless; these colours
Are renewed daily with variations
Of light and distance that no painter
Achieves or suggests. Then there is movement,
Change, as slowly the cloud bruises
Are healed by sunlight, or snow caps
A black mood; but gold at evening
To cheer the heart. All through history
The great brush has not rested,
Nor the paint dried; yet what eye,
Looking coolly, or, as we now,
Through the tears’ lenses, ever saw
This work and it was not finished?
by R. S. Thomas
from Poetry For Supper (1958)