Sthephan G. Stephansson Poetry

EXHORTATION

Let unflinching irony's flame
burn folly's high halls –
choose mercy, grant good deeds fame,
when your pen compels.

Let the sound of your cadences open a door
to Iceland's old farms,
and refute that the language that emboldened before
is but a broken call to arms.

I understand how a man serves the world
who comforts, but discourages –
but mightier's the force that a poet can wield,
which stirs and encourages.

Written in 1913

Translated by Bernard Scudder.



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