The dark eagles, sleep and death,
Rustle all night around my head:
The golden statue of man
Is swallowed by the icy comber
Of eternity. On the frightening reef
The purple remains go to pieces,
And the dark voice mourns
Over the sea.
Sister in my wild despair
Look, a precarious skiff is sinking
Under the stars,
The face of night whose voice is fading.
Georg Trakl, self portrait, 1913
Whispered In The Afternoon
Feebly glints the sun's thin ray,
From the tree the ripe fruit falleth,
In the deep blue distance dwelleth
Silence--'tis an endless day.
Sharp a shot the stillness cleaves,
Prone to earth its victim bringing.
Harsh refrain of brown girls singing
Dies amid the fall of leaves.
Dream-wings o'er God's forehead play,
And He thinketh but in color.
Shadows round the hill grow duller,
Bordered by a dim decay.
Twilight, drunken with repose;
Sad guitar-notes trickle faintly.
Back unto his lamplight saintly
In a dream the wanderer goes.
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.
Springtime of the Soul
Outcry in sleep; through black alleys the wind falls,
The blue of spring beckons through breaking branches,
Purple night-dew and stars extinguish all around.
Greenish the river dawns, silverly the old avenues
And the towers of the city. O gentle drunkenness
In the gliding boat and the dark calls of the blackbird
In innocent gardens. Already, the rosy veil thins.
Solemnly the waters murmur. O the moist shadows of the floodplain,
The striding animal; greening shapes, flowering branches
Touch the crystal forehead; shimmering boat-sway.
Quietly the sun sounds in the rose-colored clouds by the hill.
Great is the stillness of the fir forest, the earnest shadows at the river.
Purity! Purity! Where are the terrible paths of death,
Of gray stony silence, the rocks of night
And the peaceless shadows? Abyss radiant with sun.
Sister, when I found you at the lonely clearing
In the forest, it was midday and the silence of the animal great;
Whiteness under wild oak, and the thorn bloomed silver.
Enormous dying and the singing flame in the heart.
Darker the waters flow around the beautiful play of fishes.
Hour of mourning, silent vision of the sun;
The soul is a strange shape on earth. Spiritually blueness
Dusks over the pruned forest; and a dark bell rings
Long in the village; peaceful escort.
Silently the myrtle blooms over the white eyelids of the dead.
Softly the waters whisper in the subsiding afternoon
And the wilderness on the bank greens more darkly; joy in the rosy wind;
The brother's gentle song by the evening hill.