We all have poems that stayed with us long after we’ve read them. For example, If by Rudyard Kipling is one of them for me. Loved it from the first time I’ve read it and will always do, but the poem I’m going to share with you today is the one that changed my views about life. I first read it when I was 16 and it just talked to me in a way than no other poem did before. It comes from the great Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu and it’s called Glossa. I won’t write the Romanian version as I know that no one would understand, but I found a good translation so here it is:

Glossa

Time goes by, time comes along,
All is old and all is new;
What is right and what is wrong,
You must think and ask of you;
Have no hope and have no fear,
Waves that rise can never hold;
If they urge or if they cheer,
You remain aloof and cold.

To our sight a lot will glisten,
Many sounds will reach our ear;
Who could take the time to listen
And remember all we hear?
Keep aside from all that patter,
Seek yourself, far from the throng
When with loud and idle clatter
Time goes by, time comes along.

Nor forget the tongue of reason
Or its even scales depress
When the moment, changing season,
Wears the mask of happiness –
It is born of reason’s slumber
And may last a wink as true:
For the one who knows its number
All is old and all is new.

Be as to a play, spectator,
As the world unfolds before:
You will know the heart of matter
Should they act two parts or four;
When they cry or tear asunder
From your seat enjoy along
And you’ll learn from art to wonder
What is right and what is wrong.

Past and future, ever blending,
Are the twin sides of same page:
New start will begin with ending
When you know to learn from age;
All that was or be tomorrow
We have in the present, too;
But what’s vain and futile sorrow
You must think and ask of you;

For the living cannot sever
From the means we’ve always had:
Now, as years ago, and ever,
Men are happy or are sad:
Other masks, same play repeated;
Diff’rent tongues, same words to hear;
Of your dreams so often cheated,
Have no hope and have no fear.

Hope not when the villains cluster
By success and glory drawn:
Fools with perfect lack of luster
Will outshine Hyperion!
Fear it not, they’ll push each other
To reach higher in the fold,
Do not side with them as brother,
Waves that rise can never hold.

Sounds of siren songs call steady
Toward golden nets, astray;
Life attracts you into eddies
To change actors in the play;
Steal aside from crowd and bustle,
Do not look, seem not to hear
From your path, away from hustle,
If they urge or if they cheer;

If they reach for you, go faster,
Hold your tongue when slanders yell;
Your advice they cannot master,
Don’t you know their measure well?
Let them talk and let them chatter,
Let all go past, young and old;
Unattached to man or matter,
You remain aloof and cold.

You remain aloof and cold
If they urge or if they cheer;
Waves that rise can never hold,
Have no hope and have no fear;
You must think and ask of you
What is right and what is wrong;
All is old and all is new,
Time goes by, time comes along.

This is the most brilliant poem I have ever read and gives me goose bumps every time I read it. A master piece!

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