Poetry       Prose       Letters

Georg Trakl


To One Who Died Young

O, the black angel who stepped softly from inside the tree
When we were gentle playmates in the evening
At the edge of the bluish fountain.
Calm was our step, the round eyes in the brown coolness of autumn,
O, the purple sweetness of the stars.

But the other one descended the stony steps of the Mönchsberg,
A blue smile on his face and strangely pupated
In his quieter childhood and died;
And the silver countenance of the friend remained in the garden,
Listening in leaf or in ancient stones.

Soul sang of death, the green decay of flesh
And it was the murmur of the forest,
The fervent lament of the deer.
Always the blue evening bells rang from the dusky towers.

Hour came when the other one saw shadows in the purple sun,
Shadows of putrescence in bare branches;
Evening, when the blackbird sang by the dusking wall
The ghost of the dead youth silently appeared in the room.

O, the blood that runs from the throat of the resounding one,
Blue flower; o the fiery tear
Wept in the night.

Golden cloud and time. In a lonely chamber
You invite the dead child to be a guest more often,
Wander in intimate conversation under elms down the green river.


© Jim Doss & Werner Schmitt



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