The Old Clocks by Rolf Jacobsen

The old clocks often have encouraging faces.
They are like those farmers in the big woods or in the mountains
Whose whole being contains some calm acceptance
As if they belonged to some other race than ours.
A race that has fought its way through its time down here
And has seen its unhappiness shrink back like grass
During that earlier period when the Earth was earth.

They are guests with us this time and they nod in tune to our distress
Next to our bed with their mild wisdom: it’s OK,
oh yes, oh yes, it’s OK, it’s OK.

translated by Robert Bly

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