30 Dec

„The Diverting History of John Gilpin” de William Cowper

John Gilpin was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
A train-band captain eke was he
Of famous London town.
Era John Gilpin de ispravă
Al Londrei cetăţean
Şi cunoscut în Cheapside, başca
De poteri căpitan.


John Gilpin’s spouse said to her dear,
‘Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen.
„Bărbate, spuse soaţa, uite,
Sunt douăzeci de veri
De când ne-am luat; şi nu m-ai dus,
De-atuncea, nicăieri.
‘To-morrow is our wedding-day,
And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton,
All in a chaise and pair.
Cum mâine-i ziua nunţii noastre,
Ce-ar fi să mergem toţi
La Edmonton într-o caleaşcă –
Doi cai şi patru roţi?
‘My sister, and my sister’s child,
Myself, and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must ride
On horseback after we.’
Eu, sora mea şi fiul dânsei,
Copiii-trei; încap
Atâţia-ntr-o trăsură – tu,
Pe cal, teleap-teleap.”
He soon replied, ‘I do admire
Of womankind but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear,
Therefore it shall be done.
John Gilpin spuse: „Ntre femei
Doar una-i mai presus
Şi-aceea, pot să jur, eşti tu.
Va fi precum ai spus.
‘I am a linen-draper bold,
As all the world doth know,
And my good friend the calender
Will lend his horse to go.’
Că sunt un postăvar cinstit
O ştie tot cvartalul;
De-l rog pe croitor, îndată
Îmi împrumută calul.”
Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, ‘That’s well said;
And for that wine is dear,
We will be furnished with our own,
Which is both bright and clear.’
„Prea bine, zise doamna Gilpin.
Cum vinul s-a scumpit,
Mă socotesc să luăm de-al nostru,
Că-i roş şi limpezit.”
John Gilpin kissed his loving wife;
O’erjoyed was he to find,
That though on pleasure she was bent,
She had a frugal mind.
Îşi sărută John scumpa soaţă,
Prea mulţumit, bag seamă,
Că doamna lui, petrecăreaţă,
E-atât de econoamă.
The morning came, the chaise was brought,
But yet was not allowed
To drive up to the door, lest all
Should say that she was proud.
În zori, caleaşca fu adusă
Dar nu chiar la intrare,
Să nu se spună cum că doamna
Trage spre lumea mare.
So three doors off the chaise was stayed,
Where they did all get in;
Six precious souls, and all agog
To dash through thick and thin.
Deci, şase suflete iubite
La trei uşi mai departe
Urcând, se lepădară-n voia
Atotputinţei soartei.
Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,
Were never folk so glad,
The stones did rattle underneath,
As if Cheapside were mad.
Plesni biciuşca, patru roţi
Porniră să se-ntoarcă,
Scrâşni pietrişul – Cheapside tot
Înnebunise parcă.
John Gilpin at his horse’s side
Seized fast the flowing mane,
And up he got, in haste to ride,
But soon came down again;
De coama calului John Gilpin
Se apucă vânjos,
Se aruncă în şea şi-ndată
Se pomeni pe jos.
For saddle-tree scarce reached had be,
His journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw
Three customers come in.
Urcă apoi pe scara şelei,
Dar când să strige „dii!”
Întoarse capul şi văzu
Că-i vin trei muşterii.
So down he came; for loss of time,
Although it grieved him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,
Would trouble him much more.
Descălecă; întrâzierea
Îl necăji câtva,
Dar pierderea de bani, vezi bine,
În cumpănă trăgea.
’Twas long before the customers
Were suited to their mind,
When Betty screaming came down stairs,
‘The wine is left behind!’
Pân’ să-şi aleagă cei trei marfa
Nu a trecut puţin,
Când Betty coborî, strigând:
– „Vaaai! Au uitat de vin!”
‘Good lack,’ quoth he—‘yet bring it me,
My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword,
When I do exercise.’
– „Hait, zise el, adă-l încoace,
Şi adă-mi şi-o curea –
Pe cea în care-mi pun eu spada
Când zic că lupt cu ea”.
Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul!)
Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved,
And keep it safe and sound.
(Mult grijulia doamnă Gilpin
În două mari ulcioare
Pusese, pentru zile negre,
Plăcuta ei licoare).
Each bottle had a curling ear,
Through which the belt he drew,
And hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true.
Cureaua John şi-o petrecu
Prin cele două toarte
Şi-ncins, de cumpăt păstrător,
Le puse-n câte-o parte.
Then over all, that he might be
Equipped from top to toe,
His long red cloak, well brushed and neat;
He manfully did throw.
Apoi, spre-a fi el dichisit
Din creştet până jos,
’ Şi luă manta roşie, periată
Cu grijă şi prisos.
Now see him mounted once again
Upon his nimble steed,
Full slowly pacing o’er the stones,
With caution and good heed.
Deci, iată-l cocoţat din nou
Pe falnicul său cal,
Plimbat la pas printre pietroaie
La vale şi la deal.
But finding soon a smoother road
Beneath his well-shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot,
Which galled him in his seat.
Nou potcovitul dobitoc
Scăpând de drumul slut,
Porni la trap şi John simţi
Că-l arde la şezut.
So, ‘Fair and softly,’ John he cried,
But John he called in vain;
That trot became a gallop soon,
In spite of curb and rein.
Strigă John: „Murgule, domol!”
Dar John striga-n zadar;
Şi trapul se făcu galop
Căci frâul n-avea har.
So stooping down as needs he must
Who cannot sit upright,
He grasped the mane with both his hands,
And eke with all his might.
Plecându-se cum şade bine
Când să stai drept ţi-e teamă,
Cu mâinile-amândouă John
Se apucă de coamă.
His horse, who never in that sort
Had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got
Did wonder more and more.
Şi cum nu mai umblase nimeni
Într-acest fel cu dânsul,
Vru calul sarcina să-şi afle
Tot mai cu dinadinsul.
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Away went hat and wig;
He little dreamt, when he set out,
Of running such a rig.
Zbura! zbură şi pălăria,
Zbură şi cea perucă.
John nu ştiuse-aceasta când
Prinsese dor de ducă.
The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,
Like streamer long and gay,
Till, loop and button failing both,
At last it flew away.
În vânt, mantaua flutura
Ca steagul, neîntrerupt,
Până ce bumbii, câţi erau,
Din chiotori s-au rupt;
Then might all people well discern
The bottles he had slung;
A bottle swinging at each side.
As hath been said or sung.
Şi a putut vedea tot natul
Ulcioarele-atârnând
Lui John de-a dreapta şi de-a stânga,
Cum spus-am de curând.
The dogs did bark, the children screamed,
Up flew the windows all;
And every soul cried out, ‘Well done!’
As loud as he could bawl.
Dulăii hămăiau, copiii
Zbierau, după putinţă,
Şi, din ferestre, mulţi răcneau:
„Să-ţi fie de priinţă”!
Away went Gilpin—who but he?
His fame soon spread around;
‘He carries weight! He rides a race!’
‘’Tis for a thousand pound!’
Zbura, dar, Gilpin – cine altul?
Şi-i merse-ndată buhul:
„Este jocheu! Pe mii de lire
Şi-a zălogit el duhul”!
And still, as fast as he drew near,
’Twas wonderful to view,
How in a trice the turnpike-men
Their gates wide open threw.
Şi cum venea, nu-i de mirare
Că, încă de departe,
Străjerii de la barieră
Au dat poarta-ntr-o parte.
And now, as he went bowing down
His reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back
Were shattered at a blow.
Şi cum zbura, cu capul abur
Şi pântecul chircit,
Ulcioarele, – ajungând în spate
S-au spart şi s-au ciobit.
Down ran the wine into the road,
Most piteous to be seen,
Which made his horse’s flanks to smoke
As they had basted been.
S-a scurs vinaţul tot pe drum
– O, ceas grozav şi crunt! –
Şi calul fumega de parcă
Plutea pe plită-n unt.
But still he seemed to carry weight,
With leathern girdle braced;
For all might see the bottle-necks
Still dangling at his waist.
Dar, cu cureaua-ncins, John Gilpin
Avea samar, fiindcă
Mai atârnau de la ulcioare
Ce gâturi erau încă.
Thus all through merry Islington
These gambols he did play,
Until he came unto the Wash
Of Edmonton so gay;
Prin Islington cu-asemenea şotii
Trecu fără să-i pese
Şi-n Edmonton, prin locul unde
Spălau spălătorese.
And there he threw the Wash about
On both sides of the way,
Just like unto a trundling mop,
Or a wild goose at play.
Acolo-n rufe dete iama
Năprasnic şi de-o dată,
Ca măturoiul furios
Sau gâsca mâniată.
At Edmonton his loving wife
From the balcony spied
Her tender husband, wondering much
To see how he did ride.
La Edmonton iubita-i soaţă,
Suită pe balcon
Grozav se minună văzând
Cum călăreşte John.
‘Stop, stop, John Gilpin!—Here’s the house!’
They all at once did cry;
‘The dinner waits, and we are tired;’—
Said Gilpin—‘So am I!’
„Opreşte, John! Aici ţi-e casa!”
Strigau toţi cu dârzie –
„E gata masa – ne e foame!”
Răspunse John: „Şi mie!”
But yet his horse was not a whit
Inclined to tarry there!
For why?—his owner had a house
Full ten miles off at Ware.
Dar calul nu se îmbia
Să zăbovească-acolo –
Stăpânul mai avea o casă
Opt mile mai încolo –
So like an arrow swift he flew,
Shot by an archer strong;
So did he fly—which brings me to
The middle of my song.
Spre Ware zbura, deci, ca săgeata
Ce-o trage-un braţ cumplit –
Şi cu acestea, jumătate
De cântec am sfârşit.
Away went Gilpin, out of breath,
And sore against his will,
Till at his friend the calender’s
His horse at last stood still.
Zbură şi John, cu scârbă multă
Şi-osirdie puţină,
Până ce calul poposi
La casa cu pricina.
The calender, amazed to see
His neighbour in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,
And thus accosted him:
Uimit de-acestea, croitorul
Uită de-aprinsa-i pipă
Fugi spre poartă într-un suflet
Şi-l întrebă cu pripă:
‘What news? what news? your tidings tell;
Tell me you must and shall—
Say why bareheaded you are come,
Or why you come at all?’
„Ce s-a-ntâmplat? Doresc să aflu
Întregul adevăr!
În capul gol? De ce-ai venit?
Zi-mi tot, de-a fir a păr!”
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
And loved a timely joke;
And thus unto the calender
In merry guise he spoke:
Era John Gilpin om duh
Şi-i cam ardea de glume;
Deci, croitorului, şăgalnic,
Aşa-i vorbi anume:
‘I came because your horse would come,
And, if I well forebode,
My hat and wig will soon be here,—
They are upon the road.’
„De ce-am venit? Întreabă-ţi calul!
Eu – pot atât prezice:
Că pălăria şi peruca
Vor fi curând aice!”
The calender, right glad to find
His friend in merry pin,
Returned him not a single word,
But to the house went in;
Iar croitorul, bucuros
Că John e-n toane bune,
Se duse-n casă-n graba mare
O vorbă făr-a spune;
Whence straight he came with hat and wig;
A wig that flowed behind,
A hat not much the worse for wear,
Each comely in its kind.
De-aici i-aduse o perucă
Nu tocmai de temei
Şi-o pălărie – fiecare
Urâtă-n felul ei.
He held them up, and in his turn
Thus showed his ready wit,
‘My head is twice as big as yours,
They therefore needs must fit.
I le-arătă şi şugui
La rându-i: „Am un cap
Ca-al tău de două ori mai mare –
Eu zic că te încap.
‘But let me scrape the dirt away
That hangs upon your face;
And stop and eat, for well you may
Be in a hungry case.’
Dar mai întâi dă-mi voie faţa
Să-ţi şterg de murdărie
Şi… să mănânci ceva, căci foame
S-ar cam putea să-ţi fie.”
Said John, ‘It is my wedding day,
And all the world would stare,
If wife should dine at Edmonton,
And I should dine at Ware.’
Dar John: „E ziua mea de nuntă.
Ce-ar zice toţi de asta:
Eu să prânzesc aici, în Ware,
Şi-n Edmonton nevasta?”
So turning to his horse, he said,
‘I am in haste to dine;
’Twas for your pleasure you came here,
You shall go back for mine.’
Se-ntoarse-apoi spre cal şi-i spuse:
„De foame, zău, sunt stors!
Plăcerea ţi-ai făcut venind,
Fă-mi-o pe-a mea la-ntors!”
Ah, luckless speech, and bootless boast!
For which he paid full dear;
For, while he spake, a braying ass
Did sing most loud and clear;
O, vorbe grele, pentru care
Avea John să plătească!
Pe când vorbea, trase-un măgar
Cântare măgărească;
Whereat his horse did snort, as he
Had heard a lion roar,
And galloped off with all his might,
As he had done before.
Şi calul sforăi, de parcă
Un leu ar fi răcnit
Şi iar o luă-n galop, precum
Era obişnuit.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went Gilpin’s hat and wig;
He lost them sooner than at first;
For why?—they were too big.
Zbura; zbură şi pălăria,
Zbură şi cea perucă;
Fiind mai mari, se pricepură
Mai iute să se ducă.
Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw
Her husband posting down
Into the country far away,
She pulled out half a crown;
Când doamna Gilpin îl văzu
Gonind pe-a zării geană
Umblă la teşcherea şi scoase
Dintr-însa o coroană
And thus unto the youth she said
That drove them to the Bell,
‘This shall be yours, when you bring back
My husband safe and well.’
Şi vizitiului de grabă
Îi răspică aşa:
„Dacă-mi aduci bărbatul viu
Şi teafăr – e a ta.”
The youth did ride, and soon did meet
John coming back again:
Whom in a trice he tried to stop,
By catching at his rein;
Săltând de sârg acesta-n şea,
Pe John îl întâlni
Şi apucând de frâu, cercă
Din cale a-l opri;
But not performing what he meant,
And gladly would have done,
The frighted steed he frighted more,
And made him faster run.
Dar ne-mplinind el ce-ar fi vrut,
Alesul dintre cai
Se spăimântă şi socoti
Să fugă mai dihai.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went postboy at his heels,
The postboy’s horse right glad to miss
The lumbering of the wheels.
Zbura şi John şi vizitul,
Iar calul de la spate
Se bucura că nu aude
Huruituri de roate.
Six gentlemen upon the road,
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scampering in the rear,
They raised the hue and cry:
În drum, cinci gentlemeni văzând
Cum fuge John călare
Şi-l urmăreşte celălalt,
Strigară-n gura mare:
‘Stop thief! stop thief!—a highwayman!’
Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that passed that way
Did join in the pursuit.
„Opriţi tâlharul! Puneţi mâna!”
Mut nu era nici unul;
Şi muţi n-au fost nici alţii care
Pe-acolo-şi aveau drumul.
And now the turnpike gates again
Flew open in short space;
The toll-men thinking, as before,
That Gilpin rode a race.
A barierei poartă grea
S-a dat iar la o parte,
Crezând străjerii iar de John
La curse că ia parte.
And so he did, and won it too,
For he got first to town;
Nor stopped till where he had got up
He did again get down.
Şi-a câştigat, căci el dintâiul
A Londrei mândre case
Le-a-ntâmpinat şi-a coborât
Chiar unde-ncălescase.
Now let us sing, Long live the King!
And Gilpin, long live he!
And when he next doth ride abroad
May I be there to see!
Trăiască regele – şi Gilpin,
Le deie domnul viaţă!
Iar John, de-o să mai urce-n şea,
Să fim şi noi de faţă!
William Cowper traducere de Leon Leviţchi

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