A Translation of the Xanadu poem, Goodbye, My Precious
into an easy-to-understand prose paraphrase.
By Simon Farrow
May 10, 2021
Goodbye, my precious!—How I long, lost friend,
For you to live forever and not die.
And yet your book must bear these words: The End.
Where the tree falls, it falls; there let it lie.
Goodbye, my dearest! How I long for you to go on living forever and never dying. And yet your life must come to an end just as every book comes to an end. What happens, happens, and we have to accept it. (‘Where the tree falls, it falls; there let it lie.’)
There lie the happy prelapsarian haunts
Of Eden garden—kiss the holy ground—
There, where the paradisal sun enchants
And casts its emblematic radiance round.
There, in another world beyond death, you will experience the conditions of the Garden of Eden as it was before the Fall—kiss the holy ground!—there where the heavenly sun bewitches the eye and bathes all around it with its mystical radiance.
Ah, precious, precious, all the days gone by,
Unnoticed while they ran by like a river,
A river full of silver fish to fry
Where you, my love, still cast your rod forever:
My precious deathflower, doomed and lost to me,
In the dark dreamlands of dead memory.
Ah, precious, precious, all the days gone by, unnoticed as they ran past like a river, a timeflow full of exciting events to keep you busy (“a river full of silver fish to fry”) where you, my love, still continue to live an active life (“still cast your rod forever”). My precious flower of death , doomed to die and lost to me . . . in the dark dream worlds of the mind with its dying memories.