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Georg Trakl in Translation

March 21, 2019

 

IN SPRING

 

The snow sank softly from dark footfalls,

In the tree-shadow
Lovers raise their rosy eyelids.

 

Star and night always follow the dark calls

Of the boatman;
And the oars gently keep stroke.

 

Soon beside a ruined wall
Violets bloom,
Turning green the temples of the solitary man.

 

 

BIRTH

 

Mountain ranges: blackness, silence and snow.

Red from the forest the hunt returns;
O the mossy looks of the prey.

 

Maternal stillness; beneath black firs
The sleeping hands are open wide,
When the cold moon appears in its decay.

 

O the birth of man. Nightly
Blue water roars in the rocky glen;

Sighing, the fallen angel spies his image;

 

Someone pale awakes in a musty room.

Twin moons
Are the glittering eyes of the stony hag.

 

Ah, the cry of a woman in labour!

Black-wingéd night stirs the brow of the boy,

Snow, that softly spills from purple cloud.

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