The hour swept clean to the crowing of cocks.
The hour when earth betrays us.
The hour when wind blows from extinguished stars.
The hour of and-what-if-nothing-remains-after-us.
The hollow hour.
The very pit of all other hours.
No one feels good at four in the morning.
If ants feel good at four in the morning
--three cheers for the ants. And let five o'clock come
if we're to go on living.
Translated by Magnus J. Krynski and Robert A. Maguire
* * *
"Four in the Morning" from Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts: Seventy Poems by Wislawa Szymborska. Copyright © 1981
Princeton University Press. Reprinted with the permission of Princeton University Press.