Count that day lost – תחשבי את היום הזה כמבוזבז
If you sit down at set of sun – אם אתה יושב בשקיעת השמש
And count the acts that you have done, – וסופר את המעשים שעשית
And, counting, find – ו, סופר, מוצא (חופשי: וכשאתה סופר אתה מוצא)
One self-denying deed, one word – מעשה אחד של הקרבה עצמית, מילה אחת
That eased the heart of him who heard, – שהקלה על הלב של זה ששמע
One glance most kind – מסט אחד, הכי חביב
That fell like sunshine where it went — – שהרגיש כמו קרן שמש כשהיא נעלמת
Then you may count that day well spent. – אז אתה יכול להחשיב את היום כמבוזבז טוב.
But if, through all the livelong day, – אבל אם, דרך כל היום הארוך הזה
You’ve cheered no heart, by yea or nay — – לא עודדת אף לב, של זה או זה
If, through it all – אם דרך כל זה
You’ve nothing done that you can trace – אין שום דבר שאתה יכול להתחקות אחריו
That brought the sunshine to one face— שהביא קרן שמש לפנים של מישהו
No act most small – (אפילו) לא מעשה הכי קטן
That helped some soul and nothing cost — – שעזרה לנשמה אחת ולא עלה לך שומדבר
Then count that day as worse than lost. – אז תחשיב את היום כגרוע מאבוד.
George Eliot was an English female writer and poetess. She lived in England during the Victorian Age in Queen Victoria’s times (1837-1901). Although the Victorian Age was characterized by peace and prosperity, there were huge gaps between the rich and the poor. The lower classes lived in poverty. Poor children were forced to work hard in order to support their families instead of going to school. Eliot and her friends were openly critical of these conditions. For them, the writer’s job was to help improve society. Their literary works reflected those bad times. Gradually, a sense of responsibility began to develop among the upper classes. They used their money and influence to demand better working conditions and education for the working class.
The poem implies that society as a whole can be improved if each of us does his or her part – and that it is every person’s responsibility to do so.
Relevant HOTS: Comparing and Contrasting (השוואה והנגדה)
Comparing the two stanzas of the poem
- Both stanzas are about a certain type of day
- Each stanza has 8 lines
- Each stanza has the same rhyming scheme (aabccbdd)
Contrasting the two stanzas of the poem
- The subject of the first stanza is about doing at least one good deed every day, and this will make your day worthwhile
- The second stanza talks about a day during which you don’t do anything helpful for another person, and this will make your day wasted and even lost.
Analysis and interpretation
The poem describes 2 possible results of a day. If at the end of the day you see that you did something good for someone, your day isn’t a wasted or lost day because of the happiness it brought to another person. However, if at the end of the day you see that you didn’t do anything helpful that made someone happy, then you can see this day as a lost, or a “worse than lost” day.
The division of the poem into 2 stanzas helps the reader understand the message of the poem. There are 2 distinct kinds of days: worthwhile and worthless. These days may appear similar on the surface, but a closer look will reveal the big difference between the two.