Poetry       Prose       Letters

Georg Trakl



To Else Lasker-Schüler, with admiration


Moon, as if a dead shape would step
From a blue cave,
And many blossoms fall
Across the rock path.
Silverly, a sickly shape weeps
By the evening pond,
In a black boat
Lovers have died crossing over.

Or Elis' footsteps
Ring through the grove,
The hyacinths
Again dying off under oaks.
O the boy's figure
Formed from crystalline tears,
Nocturnal shadows.
Jagged lightning illuminates the temple,
Always cool,
When by the greening hill
The thunder of spring resounds.


So quiet are the green forests
Of our homeland,
The crystalline wave
Dying on a decayed wall
And we have wept in sleep;
Wandering with hesitant steps
Along the thorny hedge,
Singers in the summer evening,
In holy rest
Of the vineyard radiant in the distance;
Shadows now in the cool lap
Of night, mourning eagles.
So quietly a moonbeam closes
The purple stigmata of sorrow.


You mighty cities
Built from stone
On the plain!
So speechless
The homeless one follows
The wind with dark forehead,
Bare trees by the hill.
You widely dusking rivers!
In storm clouds
The scary afterglow
Frightens enormously.
You dying people!
Pale wave
Breaking on the beach of night,
Falling stars.


© Jim Doss & Werner Schmitt



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