Yes! Perfect. Norwid. With its immortal motto: The ideal reached the cobblestones! After an attempted assassination of their governor in occupied Warsaw in 1863, Russian troops took revenge and looted a historic palace, throwing Chopin` piano out of the window onto the street below. A good summary of their rule in Poland during partitions........
The poem below - funny, now I see one of my uni teachers - Teresa Bałuk - translated it.
La musique est une chose étrange! Byron L'arte? ... c'est l'art - et puis,Voilà tout. Béranger
I In those near-final days I visited you - Filled with elusive theme - Complete as Myth, Pale as the mist... When dissipation whispers to the issue of life's stream: "I shall not tangle you - I shall but sublimate you..."
II I visited you in those near-final days When you were growing - from beat to beat - More like Orpheus' forsaken lyre, In which still-striking force and song compete And four still twanging strings inquire, And faintly chime, Two a time - two a time Whisper telling - "Did he begin To strike the string... Or can his Genius play - whilst repelling?"
III In those days I visited you, Frederic, Whose hand - for all its mastery And alabaster pallour - unique Hand stroking softly, quivering, ostrich-plumed - To be - I all too hastily assumed The keyboard ivory... Like yon noble statue - you - Whom - before Pygmalion hewed Out of its marble womb - The stamp of Genius stained!
IV And then, when you played - what? said the tones - what? will they say, Though stand the echoes might in different array Than when your own hand's benediction made Quiver each chord your fingers played - And when you played, there was such simplicity - Periclean - perfection - sublime As if some Virtue from Antiquity Stepped into a country cottage's confine And on the simple threshold swore: "This day in Heaven I was reborn: The cottage door - a harp to me; My ribbons - the winding lane; The Holy Host - in the corn I venerate And Emmanuel will reign On Tabor incarnate!"
V And therein was Poland - to the crown Of Omniperfection's reign restored. Dazzled - in delights that drown Despair - Poland - the Wheelwright's House transformed! The same dear Poland Honey-golden!... (I could ne'er mistake her - though at life's brow...)
VI And now - your hymn complete - your music mute - No more I'll see you - but what? is that there I hear ... as if a child's dispute - - No more, but just the keys still chatter, About the uncompleted rhyme Shuffling final echoes spell - Five a time - eight a time - Rustling, "Did he begin? To play or to repel?"
VII O You! In whom Love's Profile chooses to abide And Art's Perfection is your name - You! who assemble in the ranks of Style And fashion stone, penetrate the song's refrain... O You! in History's course confirmed as Age; Though Spirit and Letter surpass History's crest, Yet wedded inscribe into her page Your nomen: Consummatum est... O You! - Perfection - attained - Whatever - wherever - your mark may be In Phidias? In David? In Chopin's hand recumbent? Or in Aeschylos' amphitheatre abundant? Avenged - always - by the spite of INSUFFICIENCY! The wretched birthmark of this world is Lack Him? ... Perfection irks - Prefers - to undo Perfection's works - Arrests the germination of Art's Act... - One? ... who ripened like a golden comet-sheaf, Let once the astral-wind contact his train, Soon stream away his tears of grain: Perfection makes his glory brief.
VIII For look - look now, Frederic... This is Warsaw Under a star ablaze - Strange gaudy eyesore Look, the Parish organs! Look! Where you were raised! There - the patricians' houses - old As the Publica Res; Pavements of the squares grey and cold, Annd Zygmunt's sword in its cloudy crest.
IX Look! From street to street Charge Caucasian steeds Like a storm-spurned starling fleet Charging the horses speed - A hundred a time - a hundred a time, Flames swelling the building, - then dying down Blazing again - and then - look now! I see rifle butts pointing at the brow Of bereaved widows - And then I see, though through a wall of Blinding smoke, at the porch, colonnade A tumbril-like object swayed To and fro... to and fro... - fallen! Your piano has fallen!
X He!... who proclaimed Poland from the height Of Omniperfection's eternal form And wrought with a hymn of delight - A Poland of the Wheelwright's House transformed - He - has fallen - into the mud-bespattered night! And now, like the wise saying of the Sage, He lies trampled by the people's wrath, Or like all that which - from age To age - shall summon forth! And now, like Orpheus' body, A thousand Passions dismember his corpse Each one groaning, "Not me! Not me!" through grinding jaws.
* But you? - But I? Let us sound judgement tones, Call forth: "Rejoice, late-coming posterity! The vulgar street - screech muted stones - The Ideal - has inherited."