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VÁRNAI, Zseni: New Year’s Eve in 1954

 Now on the verge of New Year’s Day
 I make a halt, my heart,
 this ever moving small engine
 relax’ at least in part,
 like floater who during a year
 walk’d all over the land,
 so I stand here and scrutinize
 The hidden sky-line’s rand.
 Like flock of clouds I left behind
 the bygone days of mine,
 in front of me the nearing wings
 of new and new days shine,
 oh, how much days fell in the nil
 what’s rest of these torments?
 these are but merely some active
 and fruitful short moments.
 The false minute flies like the chaff
 ’cause it’s light, has no seed,
 with it a piece of life of ours
 melts in the air, indeed,
 while we are young, how many times
 we waste the day and night?
 And think, our time ’s endless and is
 eternal summer, light?
 Today I know that life of mine
 will wane alike the Moon,
 and shade of years will cover me,
 will kill the lights but soon,
 but beaming eyes of star of mine
 are hopeful and are bright:
 new year ’s born by Infinity
 and new spring ’s born by light!
 The years’ numbers of mine don’t know,
 how many times will greet
 new year, inception, future, I
 This day how often meet?!
 Can I give even beauty more,
 so passing life of mine
 be worthy of protecting it,
 to shield it and enshrine?!
 Midnight does near, in hand I feel
 The ice-cold champagne glass!
 New Year, oh, let you show your face:
 await millions of hearts,
 as I do wait and ask afraid:
 - what do you bring, oh tell!
 Say: do you bring the peace and life?
 or swoops on us new hell?
 Among these thoughts I cross’d the verge
 of New Year with my glass,
 outdoors the wind of winter scrap’s
 its melody on brass!
 But from afar with flowers waves
 new spring with might and main,
 I feel the youth will overcome
 And life will win again! 

Translation by Ottó Tomschey 

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