Poetry       Prose       Letters

Georg Trakl


Seven-song of Death

Spring dusks bluish: under sucking trees
A dark shape wanders into evening and decline
Listening to the blackbird's soft lament.
Silently night appears, a bleeding deer
That slowly sinks down at the hill.

In damp air blossoming apple branches sway,
Labyrinthine shapes that dissolve silverly,
Fading from nocturnal eyes; falling stars;
Gentle song of childhood.

Appearing once more, the sleeper descended the black forest,
And a blue spring murmured from the ground,
So that the other quietly lifted pale eyelids
Over his snowy countenance;

And the moon flushed a red animal
From its cave;
And in sighs the dark lament of women died.

More radiant, the white stranger lifted the hands
Toward his star;
Silently a dead shape left the decayed house.

O the putrefied figure of man: formed from cold metals,
Night and terror of sunken forests
And the singed wilderness of the animal;
Wind lull of the soul.

In a black boat the other rode down shimmering rivers
Filled with purple stars, and greening branches
Sank peacefully upon him,
Poppy from silver clouds.


© Jim Doss & Werner Schmitt



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