MAYING (MAJÁLIS) by Miklós Radnóti, May 10th 1944.
The gramoflower rasping in the grass
croaks like the victim panting from the chase;
but girls instead of hunters hem it in,
the fiery petals of the feminine.
One maiden dips and kneels to change the track:
her legs are pale, though golden-brown her back;
cheap music wafts her tiny soul away
up where it hangs, a little cloud of grey.
The boys crouch, amberizing in the glow,
whisper sweet nothings quite malapropos;
with tiny victories their bodies thrill;
just as dispassionately they could kill.
But still they could be human. Something keeps
its noble place in them, although it sleeps:
the sweet intelligence of humankind.
O let it yet be so! – light of the mind!