Poetry       Prose       Letters

Georg Trakl


Occidental Song

O the soul's nocturnal wing beat:
Shepherds, we once moved along dusking forests
And the red deer, the green flower and the babbling brook followed
Full of humbleness. O, the ancient tone of the cricket,
Blood blooming on the sacrificial stone,
And the cry of a lonely bird over the pond's green stillness.

O, you crusades and glowing tortures
Of the flesh, the fall of purple fruit
In the evening garden where in bygone times the pious disciples walked,
Warriors now, awakened out of wounds and starry dreams.
O, delicate bluish-green shieves of night.

O, you times of stillness and golden autumns
When, peaceful monks, we pressed the purple grape;
And hill and forest shimmered all around.
O, you hunts and castles, evening repose,
When in his chamber man pondered over the righteous,
Struggled in silent prayer for the living head of God.

O, the bitter hour of decline,
When we behold a stony countenance in black waters.
But in radiance the lovers lift the silver eyelids:
O n e gender. Incense flows from rosy pillows
And the sweet song of the resurrected.


© Jim Doss & Werner Schmitt



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