William Ewart Gladstone Louw

(1931 - 1980 / South Africa)

Amsterdam, September 1939


Vir Ernst


Niks sal ooit weer wees soos dit daardie somer was:
die water van die Spiegelgracht lê swart soos glas;

die brûe, boë, bome en lampe ry op ry
wieg lui-lui heen en weer as ’n bootjie daaroor gly;

en deur die mis wat instoot van die see terwyl
die skemer teen die gewels styg, klink vér en yl,

asof gesprinkel, ’n wysietjie uit ’n toringklok.
Maar dis reeds oorlog! Dié besef tref skielik met ’n skok!

Ons wis dit séker ’n herfsmiddag, later, toe eindelik
ons skip die oop see kies en ons ’n laaste blik

vergun word van die kus – die strand, die kaal, wit duin
en ’n vuurtoring, donker, teen die donker, lae kruin;

en toe, ’n kwartiertjie later, in die Noordsee, mis ons boot
rakelings ’n myn wat los dryf in die see – en óns die dood.

Ons vaar dan verder: ’n helder driekleur aan die mas …
Maar niks sou ooit weer wees, soos dit daardie somer was.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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