Christmas night, Henrik Visnapuu
Silver sleigh bells, 1920
Heaven sparkled with stars. The moon was lost.
Trees all round and covered in frost.
It was cold, it was quiet, it was evening.
To church we rode silently in the sledge.
I rose to the stars, up and over the hedge.
It was evening, it was Christmas, it was Saturday
Breasting a hill, the wind seemed to dash
melting snow like cigar ash.
It was cold, there was fire, it was evening.
Flames crackle in the fire. I was on a hill.
A new-born slept in the arms of a girl.
It was quiet, it was Christmas, it was evening.
A miracle, I could not speak at all.
A spell, I thought, maybe keeps me in thrall.
It was awesome, it was cold, it was evening.
The mother’s lips uttered sorrow and care
“Sleep. Son. No room. Not anywhere!”
The stars shone above. It was evening.
I leaned down to kiss her hand.
Hoar laden trees in a silver land.
There was a girl, it was Christmas, it was evening.
Jõuluöö, Henrik Visnapuu
Hõbedased kuljused, 1920
|Taevan särasid tähed. Polnud kuud.
Lumihärmatisen olid puud.
Oli külm, oli vaikne, oli õhtu.
Sõitsid kiriku vaikiden reed.
Tõusten mäkke, nägin paistmas tuld,
Tuli praksuden põles. Olin mäel.
Olin imestet, tulbastin, olin tumm.
Ütles kurblikul häälel ema suu:
Ja ma kummardin käele, andsin suud.
Henrik Visnapuu (2. jaanuar 1890 Helme kihelkond – 3. aprill 1951 Long Island, New York) oli eesti luuletaja, proosakirjanik ja kirjanduskriitik. Ta oli Marie Underi kõrval rühmituse Siuru kesksemaid luuletajaid.
Henrik Visnapuu luuletuse tõlkis inglise keelde Hilary Bird
Henrik Visnapuu (1890-1951) was one of the most important Estonian poets in the 1920s and 1930s. He worked as a journalist and writer from 1917 until 1935. From 1935 to 1944 he was culture secretary in the department of the Information Agency of the Estonian state. With the approaching Soviet occupation of Estonia and the return of the Red Army, Visnapuu fled to Germany in 1944 and in 1949 moved to the United States, where he died in New York.
Translation to English by Hilary Bird