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Seven-Song of Death

Georg Trakl 1887 (Salzburg) – 1914 (Kraków)



Seven-Song of Death

So dawns the blue face of spring. Beneath the suckling trees
a darkness strays into evening and demise.
The blackbird’s feeble complaint is caught.
The stifled night appears, a wild bleeding,
dirge burrowing deeper into the hillside.

Flowering apple-branches sway in the damp air.
Tangles unhinge their silver,
death rattles over the night’s fluttering eyes, clatter of stars,
the whispered song from the cradle.

Down to the blackened woods the sleeper, arisen, descended,
and the blue spring, it wheezed its way through the valley,
that those bleached eyelids receded
wordlessly over his snow-covered face.

And the moon hunted the red beast
from its cave.
And sighing, it died—the bitter lament of women.

The white stranger, luminous, raised his hands
to the one star.
In silence the dead abandon their ruined tenement.

O the blasted stature of man—forged out of loveless metals,
night and horror in the sunken woods
and the crematory wilderness of beasts,
the windless eye of the soul.

On the blackish barge he embarked down the shimmering currents,
plenary of purple stars, and the branches, budding green,
sank upon him,
poppy born from a silver cloud.

Translated by Eric Plattner

…………………………………………………………………..
Siebengesang des Todes

Bläulich dämmert der Frühling; unter saugenden Bäumen
Wandert ein Dunkles in Abend und Untergang,
Lauschend der sanften Klage der Amsel.
Schweigend erscheint die Nacht, ein blutendes Wild,
Das langsam hinsinkt am Hügel.

In feuchter Luft schwankt blühendes Apfelgezweig,
Löst silbern sich Verschlungenes,
Hinsterbend aus nächtigen Augen; fallende Sterne;
Sanfter Gesang der Kindheit.

Erscheinender stieg der Schläfer den schwarzen Wald hinab,
Und es rauschte ein blauer Quell im Grund,
Daß jener leise die bleichen Lider aufhob
Über sein schneeiges Antlitz;

Und es jagte der Mond ein rotes Tier
Aus seiner Höhle;
Und es starb in Seufzern die dunkle Klage der Frauen.

Strahlender hob die Hände zu seinem Stern
Der weiße Fremdling;
Schweigend verläßt ein Totes das verfallene Haus.

O des Menschen verweste Gestalt: gefügt aus kalten Metallen,
Nacht und Schrecken versunkener Wälder
Und der sengenden Wildnis des Tiers;
Windesstille der Seele.

Auf schwärzlichem Kahn fuhr jener schimmernde Ströme hinab,
Purpurner Sterne voll, und es sank
Friedlich das ergrünte Gezweig auf ihn,
Mohn aus silberner Wolke.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:49 min read
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Georg Trakl

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

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