At summer’s end come angry rains
that sing with malice the walls and old men,
the cold small disc of the sun, and the horse
that kneels in the mud when halfway home.

You hear in them an evil man’s confession,1
the midnight squeak of frightened mice,
the final cry of someone shot,
desperate cries from sea and land.

Musicians astray from the world of Nothing,
with trembling, fevered violins in hand,
sick like artists and cruel as thieves.

So goes the marauding gang of rains,
striking cold chimneys on the rooftops,
fiddling summer a farewell.

Translated by Jon Levitow (2009)


1. “Confession” here is a translation of Hebrew “vidui.”  A religious Jew recites a short version of the “vidui” three times on most days, in addition to the familiar, longer version said on Yom Kippur.   There is also a deathbed “vidui,” and since this man is specifically identified as a “roshe,” a thoroughly malevolent person, perhaps this is what Zeitlin had in mind