They, these words I hold,
smell of flower stands and cobblestone,
the clack of hooves and bugle anthems.
These musty pages are my sure footing,
rest for a tired scatterling.
Give them to me,
so that I may feed them to my children, not yet born.
Let me braid them into my core with ribbons of white and red,
So that they reside in that place, humble and warm,
xxa sensation of background in a stranger’s home.
And I will weave into my children a beautiful instinct,
an acquaintance with the warm, calloused hands of a proud, resilient nation,
so they will know the Wisła waters that run through their veins,
and be versed in an intimate understanding of the land from which they came.
“Poezja Naszego Wieku” – “The Poetry of Our Times” – a compilation of Polish poetry published after 1914.