09. 02. 2013. 10:44

Endre Ady: Prince Silence's Quarry

"The good Prince Silence is not a wicked prince; it is the greatest power, and I was thinking not only of when you go alone by night and frighten off the terrible, fearsome silence, but also that it would be all up with me if ever in my life I allowed a silence dreader than Death to descend upon me." (Endre Ady, 1910)

It was pointed out to me recently by a Russian contact in St. Petersburg that Endre Ady's poem "Jó Csönd-herceg előtt" is the most highly regarded of his work in Russian translation, where it is known as Князь тишины. This is also apparently one of only three poems on which Ady left any personal comment. (Bernard Adams)

"The good Prince Silence is not a wicked prince; it is the greatest power, and I was thinking not only of when you go alone by night and frighten off the terrible, fearsome silence, but also that it would be all up with me if ever in my life I allowed a silence dreader than Death to descend upon me." (Endre Ady, 1910)

Prince Silence's Quarry

In the moonlight I walk the forest.
Teeth a-chatter, whistling loud.
On my heels looms huge and ghoulish
Good Prince Silence.

And woe is me should I look behind me,
Oh, woe is me should I fall silent,
Or look upward, up and Moonward:
A cry of fear, a snapping sound.
Good Prince Silence
In one great stride would trample me down.

Translated by: Bernard Adams

Tags: Endre Ady