“O, the soft cyan-bundle of night.”

“Occidental Song,” by Georg Trakl

O the soul’s nocturnal wing beat:

Shepherds, we once moved along dusking forests

And the red deer, the green flower and the babbling well followed

Full of humbleness. O, the ancient tone of the cricket,

Blood blooming on the sacrificial stone,

And the cry of a lonely bird over the pond’s green stillness.


O, you crusades and glowing tortures

Of the flesh, falling of purple fruit

In the evening garden, where in bygone times the pious disciples walked,

Warriors now, awakened out of wounds and starry dreams.

O, the soft cyan-bundle of night.


O, you times of stillness and golden autumns,

When we peaceful monks pressed the purple grape;

And hill and forest shone all around.

O, you hunts and castles, rest of evening,

When in his chamber man pondered the righteous,

Struggled in mute prayer for God’s living head.


O, the bitter hour of decline,

When we behold a stony countenance in black waters.

But in radiance the lovers lift the silver eyelids:

O n e  gender. Incense flows from rosy pillows

And the sweet song of the resurrected.



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