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The Rats

Georg Trakl 1887 (Salzburg) – 1914 (Kraków)

The Rats

The hunter’s moon cuts straight through the farmyard.
From the roof’s edge a shadow descends.
The window empties itself without a word.
Up the stairs, below one’s breath, the rats cavort.

And the scuttling whistles here and there
and the grizzly whiff of your human stink
gives you away,
the ghost in the moonlight trembles through and through

and their bottomless greed tugs at you
and the houses and barns comply,
pregnant with corn and fruit.
In the dark out there the icy wind thrashes and weeps.

Translated by Eric Plattner

…………………………………………………………………

 Die Ratten

In Hof scheint weiß der herbstliche Mond.
Vom Dachrand fallen phantastische Schatten.
Ein Schweigen in leeren Fenstern wohnt;
Da tauchen leise herauf die Ratten

Und huschen pfeifend hier und dort
Und ein gräulicher Dunsthauch wittert
Ihnen nach aus dem Abort,
Den geisterhaft der Mondschein durchzittert

Und sie keifen vor Gier wie toll
Und erfüllen Haus und Scheunen,
Die von Korn und Früchten voll.
Eisige Winde im Dunkel greinen.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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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    "The Rats" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Apr. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/14787/the-rats>.

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