by Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robert Bly
Tourists have crowded into the
half-dark of the enormous Romanesque
Vault opening behind vault and no perspective.
A few candle flames flickered.
An angel whose face I couldn't
see embraced me
and his whisper went all through my body:
Don't be ashamed to be a human being—be proud!
Inside you one vault after another opens endlessly.
You'll never be complete, and that's as it should be.
Tears blinded me
as we were herded out into the fiercely sunlit piazza,
together with Mr and Mrs Jones, Herr Tanaka and Signora Sabatini—
within each of them vault after vault opened endlessly.