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the shoemaker

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Aug 10, 2009 | 2:09 PM EDT
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shoemaker

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Author Comments

BolesÅ'aw LeÅ>mian, The Shoemaker

Distant in the fog, the moon's sickle shines
With its blade caught inside a chimney-top,
While, on tiptoe, a lamp stealthily climbs
The dark, where an alley comes to a stop.
A mad shoemakerâEU"lame upon a seat,
Staring at apparitions in a pit,
Diligently stitches shoes to fit the feet
Of God, whose surname isâEU"The Infinite.
Blest the toil from whose
Creative power and might
Materialise such shoes
Amid such a silver night!

God of the clouds, God of the morning dew,
Take this bountiful present from my hand,
Lest you injure your feet upon the blue
While walking barefoot in the promised land!
Let the spirits, lighting the stars at night,
Say the next day in a cloudy deluge
That there where a shoemaker enters light
The Almighty walks properly shod!

Blest the toil from whose
Creative power and might
Materialise such shoes
Amid such a silver night!

You gave me, God, a crumb of existence,
Which is enough for me the whole way throughâEU"
Forgive that mid the shade of indigence
I can give you nothing, save a shoe or two.
In stitching there's nothing except stitching,
So let's stitch for as long as we can!
In living there's nothing except living,
So let's live until the graveyard's end!

Blest the toil from whose
Creative power and might
Materialise such shoes
Amid such a silver night!