let you sis­ter Scorn not leave you
for the infor­mers exe­cutio­ners cowards – they will win
they will go to your fune­ral with relief will throw a lump of earth
the wood­bo­rer will write your smoot­hed-over bio­graphy

and do not for­give truly it is not in your power
to for­give in the name of those betrayed at dawn

bew­are how­ever of unne­ces­sary pride
keep look­ing at your clown’s face in the mir­ror
repeat: I was cal­led – weren’t there bet­ter ones than I 

by Zbi­g­niew Her­bert

trans­lated by John Car­pen­ter & Bog­dana Car­pen­ter

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