Thirteen linden trees stand thick together
One against the other on the dry bank
Their heads held straight in the blue heaven
At the time when I was young
They were already grown
Thirteen lindens in a cluster
A bouquet of dark green
Immense. Giants
On the horizon.

These lindens are not my possession
Yet I possess the right
To cut them down
They are sucking the sap of my land
With their roots so long.
But I won’t. I would miss them
For they are part of that living tableau
That forms the framework of my life.
I would miss them.
They are my organ,
They are my harp,
When the wind plays on them
Its thousand different notes.
When the crow caws
On their bare winter branches
When on their dark summits
The yellow-beaked blackbird whistles,
And when from their highest limb flow
The crystal drops
Of the nightingale.


Translated by Lenora Timm

This poem in breton

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