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Song in the Night

Georg Trakl 1887 (Salzburg) – 1914 (Kraków)



I

Born from the shadow of a breath
We wander in abandonment
And are lost in the eternal,
Like victims ignorant wherefore they are consecrated.

Like beggars nothing is our own,
We fools at the locked gate.
As blind people we listen in the silence,
In which our whisper is lost.

We are the wanderers without destinations,
The clouds which the wind blows away,
The flowers shaking in death's coolness,
Which wait, until one mows them down.
II

So that the last torment becomes complete with me,
I do not defend you, you hostile dark powers.
You are the road to great stillness,
Upon which we stride in the coolest nights.

Your breath makes me burn louder,
Patience! The star dies down, the dreams glide
In those realms not named to us,
And which we may only walk along dreamlessly.
III

You dark night, you dark heart,
Who mirrors your holiest ground,
And your malice's last abysses?
The mask stares before our pain -

Before our pain, before our lust
The empty mask's stony laughter,
On it the earthen things broke,
And ourselves not deliberately.

And a strange enemy stands before us,
Who jeers, about which we struggle dying,
So that our songs sound cloudier
And what weeps in us remains dark.
IV

You are the wine that makes drunk,
Now I bleed in sweet dances
And must wreath my suffering with flowers!
So your deepest mind wills, o night!

I am the harp in your womb,
Now your dark song struggles
For the last pains in my heart
And makes me eternal, unreal.
V

Deep rest - o deep rest!
No devout bell rings,
You sweet mother of pain -
Your death-widened peace.

Close all wounds
With your cool, good hands -
So that inward they bleed to death -
Sweet mother of pain - you!
VI

O let my silence be your song!
What should the poor's whisper be to you,
Who is separated from life's gardens?
Let you be nameless in me -

Who is dreamlesslybuilt up in me ,
Like a bell without tone,
Like my pain's sweet bride
And the drunken poppy of my sleepings.
VII

I heard flowers die in the ground
And the wells' drunken lament
And a song from the bell's mouth,
Night, and a whispered question;
And a heart - o death-wound,
Beyond its poor days.
VIII

The darkness extinguished me in silence,
I became a dead shadow in the day -
Then I stepped from the house of joy
Outside in the night.

Now a silence dwells in my heart,
That does not feel the dreary day -
And smiles up to you like thorns,
Night - forever and ever!
IX

O night, you mute gate before my suffering,
See this dark stigmata bleeding to death
And completely inclined the staggering chalice of agony!
O night, I am ready!

O night, you garden of oblivion
Around my poverty's closed-to-the-world shine,
The wine leaves wilt, the wreath of thorns wilts.
O come, you grand time!
X

My demon once laughed,
When I was a light in gleaming gardens,
And play and dance were my companions
And the wine of love, which makes drunk.

My demon once wept,
When I was a light in painful gardens
And humility was my companion,
Whose radiance shines on poverty's house.

However, now my demon neither weeps nor laughs,
I am a shadow of lost gardens
And my death-dark companion is
The silence of the empty midnight.
XI

My poor smile which struggled for you,
My sobbing song faded away in darkness.
Now my path comes to an end.

Let me tread in your cathedral
Like once, a fool, simple minded, devoutly,
And stand adoring mutely before you.
XII

You are in deep midnight
A dead shore at the silent sea,
A dead shore: Never more!
You are in deep midnight.

You are in deep midnight
The heaven in which you glowed as a star,
A heaven from which no more God blossoms.
You are in deep midnight.

You are in deep midnight
An unbegotten in sweet womb,
And never existing, unreal!
You are in deep midnight.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:30 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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