April 29th, 2003


áfrica minha

É uma das cenas mais bonitas do filme, num filme que está carregado de beleza e transcendência. É o funeral de Denys Finch Hatton na cumeada de um monte, e Karen Blixen começa a ler, junto à campa, extractos de um poema.
No final, acrescenta:
"Now take back the soul of Denys George Finch Hatton, whom You have shared with us. He brought us joy...we loved him well.
He was not ours.
He was not mine."

E depois afasta-se, virando as costas ao féretro e voltando-se para a infinita paisagem africana, que ela aprendera a amar também pelos olhos, e pelas asas, de Denys.
Mas se hoje invoco esse filme, e particularmente essa cena, é porque só agora, tantos anos depois de o ter visto pela primeira vez, e graças às potencialidades do dvd e da internet, consegui aceder ao poema que Karen Blixen lê durante essa cena. É de A. E. Housman, intitula-se ‘To an Athlete Dying Young’, e é assim:

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.