The Light of Day by David Geraint Jones

The light of day is cold and grey and there is no more peace
By the high moon-washed walls, where we laughed and where we sung;
And I can’t go back to those days of short unthinking ease,
When I was very foolish and you were very young.
For you the laurel and the rose will bloom, and you will see
The dawn’s delight, firelight on rafters, wind, seas, and thunder,
Children asleep and dreams and hearts at ease, when life will be,
Even at its close, a quiet and an ageless wonder.
For me the poppies soon will dance and sway in Haute Avesnes:
The sunrise of my love slides into dusk, its day untasted:
Yet as I lie, turf-clad, and freed of passion, and of pain,
I find my sacrifice of golden things not wasted;
Your peace is bought with mine, and I am paid in full, and well,
If but the echo of your laughter reaches me in hell.

by David Geraint Jones
a.k.a. David Rhys Geraint Jones
died of wounds, 1944

Additional information: There isn’t much information about him but this page gives a concise yet detailed account of Jones‘ time in the army leading up to his death. Haute-Avesnes is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France region of France.

Последняя любовь (Last Love) by Fyodor Tyutchev

Towards our end, as life runs out,

love is more troubled and more tender.

Fade not, fade not, departing light

of our last love, our farewell splendour.

 

Shadow overshadows half the sky;

far to the west the last rays wander.

Shine on, shine on, last light of day;

allow us still to watch and wonder.

 

What if our blood runs thinner, cooler?

This does not make the heart less tender.

Last love, last love, what can I call you?

Joy and despair, mortal surrender.

 

by Фёдор Иванович Тютчев (Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev)

(1851-4)

translated by Robert Chandler


A reading of the poem in Russian:

Fun facts: Counted amongst the admirers of Tyutchev’s works were Dostoevsky and Tolstoy along with Nekrasov and Fet. Then later Osip Mandelstam who, in a passage approved of by Shalamov, believed that a Russian poet should not have copy of Tyutchev in his personal library – he should know all of Tyutchev off by heart.

Beneath is the original Russian language version of the poem in Cyrillic.

Последняя любовь

О, как на склоне наших лет
Нежней мы любим и суеверней…
Сияй, сияй, прощальный свет
Любви последней, зари вечерней!

Полнеба обхватила тень,
Лишь там, на западе, бродит сиянье, –
Помедли, помедли, вечерний день,
Продлись, продлись, очарованье.

Пускай скудеет в жилах кровь,
Но в сердце не скудеет нежность…
О ты, последняя любовь!
Ты и блаженство, и безнадежность.