Elis

Georg Trakl 1887 (Salzburg) – 1914 (Kraków)



Elis

1.
The absolute stillness of this golden day.
Under ancient oak trees
you appear, Elis, a dormant seed with round eyes.

Their blueness reflects the slumber of lovers,
whose rosy sighs
die on your lips.

At evening the fishermen drew in their heavy nets.
A good shepherd
leads his herd to the edge of the woods.
O, Elis, how just are your days!

Wordlessly, by barren walls,
the blue secrecy of olive trees descends.
An old man’s dark song dies away.

One golden boat
rocks back and forth, Elis—your heart to the deserted sky.

2.
A sweet chiming ripples in Elis’s breast
at evening
when his head sinks into the black pillow.

The shadow of the hunted
bleeds in peace in the barbed thicket.

A brown tree stands cloistered there,
its blue fruit falling away.

Signs and stars
go under, breathless, in the night-pond.

Behind the hill winter has come.

By night
blue doves drink the glacial sweat
from Elis’s crystal brow.

Forever whines by the blackened walls
God’s forsaken wind.

Translated by Eric Plattner

…………………………………………………………………
Elis

1.
Vollkommen ist die Stille dieses goldenen Tags.
Unter alten Eichen
Erscheinst du, Elis, ein Ruhender mit runden Augen.

Ihre Bläue spiegelt den Schlummer der Liebenden.
An deinem Mund
Verstummten ihre rosigen Seufzer.

Am Abend zog der Fischer die schweren Netze ein.
Ein guter Hirt
Führt seine Herde am Waldsaum hin.
O! wie gerecht sind, Elis, alle deine Tage.

Leise sinkt
An kahlen Mauern des Ölbaums blaue Stille,
Erstirbt eines Greisen dunkler Gesang.

Ein goldener Kahn
Schaukelt, Elis, dein Herz am einsamen Himmel.

2.
Ein sanftes Glockenspiel tönt in Elis’ Brust
Am Abend,
Da sein Haupt ins schwarze Kissen sinkt.

Ein blaues Wild
Blutet leise im Dornengestrüpp.

Ein brauner Baum steht abgeschieden da;
Seine blauen Früchte fielen von ihm.

Zeichen und Sterne
Versinken leise im Abendweiher.

Hinter dem Hügel ist es Winter geworden.

Blaue Tauben
Trinken nachts den eisigen Schweiß,
Der von Elis’ kristallener Stirne rinnt.

Immer tönt
An schwarzen Mauern Gottes einsamer Wind.  

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 30, 2023

1:40 min read
90

Quick analysis:

Scheme Abcd xdx xxxx exb xf Axxx xx gb xx h xxx ei x c Axjj jxg xxjx bxf xx Axxb xx xh xg j jxb bi
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 2,031
Words 334
Stanzas 26
Stanza Lengths 4, 3, 4, 3, 2, 4, 2, 2, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 2, 4, 3, 4, 3, 2, 4, 2, 2, 2, 1, 3, 2

Georg Trakl

Georg Trakl was an Austrian poet. He is considered one of the most important Austrian Expressionists. more…

All Georg Trakl poems | Georg Trakl Books

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