Poetry       Prose       Letters

Georg Trakl


Song of the Departed

To Karl Borromaeus Heinrich

The flight of birds is full of harmonies. At evening
The green forests have gathered to more silent huts;
The crystal meadows of the doe.
A dark shape calms the ripple of the brook, the damp shadows,

And the flowers of summer which ring beautifully in the wind.
Already the brow of the pondering man grows dark.

And goodness, a small lamp, shines in his heart
And the peace of the meal; because bread and wine are sanctified
By God's hands, and out of nocturnal eyes
The brother silently gazes at you, so that he rests from thorny wanderings.
O the dwelling in the soulful blueness of night.

The silence in the room also lovingly embraces the shadows of ancestors,
The purple martyrs, lament of a mighty race
That now dies piously in the lonely grandchild.

Because from black minutes of insanity the long-sufferer
Always awakens more radiant at the petrified threshold
And the cool blueness embraces him enormously and the bright decline of autumn,

The still house and the telling of the forest,
Measure and law and the lunar paths of the departed.


© Jim Doss & Werner Schmitt



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