Poetry       Prose       Letters

Georg Trakl


Winter Night

Snow has fallen. After midnight, drunk with purple wine, you leave the dark domain of men, the red flame of their hearth. O the gloominess!
Black frost. The earth is hard, the air tastes of bitterness. Your stars form evil signs.
With petrified steps you tramp along the railroad embankment, with round eyes, like a soldier who storms a black entrenchment. Avanti!
Bitter snow and moon!
A red wolf that an angel chokes. Your legs rattle in stride like blue ice and a smile full of sadness and pride has petrified your face and the forehead pales before the lust of frost;
or it bends silently over the sleep of a watchman, who sank down in his wooden hut.
Frost and smoke. A white star-shirt burns the bearing shoulders and God's vultures mangle your metallic heart.
O the stony hill. Still and forgotten the cool body melts in silver snow.
Black is the sleep. Long the ear follows the paths of the stars in the ice.
At the awakening, church bells rang in the village. Silverly, the rosy day stepped from the eastern gate.


© Jim Doss & Werner Schmitt



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