Ο Αύγουστος

Greek

Ο Αύγουστος ελούζονταν
μες στην αστροφεγγιά
κι από τα γένια του έσταζαν
άστρα και γιασεμιά

Αύγουστε μήνα και Θεέ
σε σένανε ορκιζόμαστε
πάλι του χρόνου να μας βρεις
στο βράχο να φιλιόμαστε

Απ’ την Παρθένο στο Σκορπιό
χρυσή κλωστή να ράψουμε
κι έναν θαλασσινό σταυρό
στη χάρη σου ν’ ανάψουμε

Ο Αύγουστος ελούζονταν
μες στην αστροφεγγιά
κι από τα γένια του έσταζαν
άστρα και γιασεμιά

English

August was bathing
in the moonlight
and his beard dripped
stars and jasmine

August, our month and god,
we take a vow in your name;
you shall find us, in the year to come
kissing, once more, upon the rock

Let us sew a golden thread
from Virgo all the way to Scorpio
Let us illuminate
a sea cross, in your grace

August was bathing
in the moonlight
and his beard dripped
stars and jasmine

ελούζονταν

The verb λούζομαι is nowadays used to mean ‘to wash one’s hair’. However, in past decades – and especially in poetic contexts – it was also used with the meaning ‘to bathe’.

The ε- at the beginning of the word is the same as the one in έπλενα ‘I was washing’, έμενα ‘I was staying’, or έριχνα ‘I was throwing’. In older versions of Greek, the prefix ε- was added to the past tenses of all verbs, not only the ones that were shorter than three syllables.


Αύγουστε μήνα και Θεέ

The line is written in the vocative case, in other words, it is addressing August, as a month and a god. Most masculine nouns ending in -ος replace this with in the vocative.


στη χάρη σου

The word χάρη is often used in religious contexts, primarily when talking about God, the Virgin Mary or a saint. In Orthodox Christianity, the divine grace of such religious figures refers to their spiritual energy. Pious Orthodox Christians at times praise a saint’s grace by saying «Μεγάλη η χάρη της» ‘Her grace is grand’. It is very common for believers to light a candle “in the saint’s grace”, meaning that they pay their respects to the saint, and light a candle in the saint’s name. This is also the context on which the poem’s line is based.