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Phlegethon
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RE: Post a Poem





Les Litanies de Satan

Ô toi, le plus savant et le plus beau des Anges,
Dieu trahi par le sort et privé de louanges,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Ô Prince de l'exil, à qui l'on a fait tort
Et qui, vaincu, toujours te redresses plus fort,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Toi qui sais tout, grand roi des choses souterraines,
Guérisseur familier des angoisses humaines,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Toi qui, même aux lépreux, aux parias maudits,
Enseignes par l'amour le goût du Paradis,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Ô toi qui de la Mort, ta vieille et forte amante,
Engendras l'Espérance, — une folle charmante!
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Toi qui fais au proscrit ce regard calme et haut
Qui damne tout un peuple autour d'un échafaud.
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Toi qui sais en quels coins des terres envieuses
Le Dieu jaloux cacha les pierres précieuses,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Toi dont l'oeil clair connaît les profonds arsenaux
Où dort enseveli le peuple des métaux,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Toi dont la large main cache les précipices
Au somnambule errant au bord des édifices,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Toi qui, magiquement, assouplis les vieux os
De l'ivrogne attardé foulé par les chevaux,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Toi qui, pour consoler l'homme frêle qui souffre,
Nous appris à mêler le salpêtre et le soufre,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Toi qui poses ta marque, ô complice subtil,
Sur le front du Crésus impitoyable et vil,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Toi qui mets dans les yeux et dans le coeur des filles
Le culte de la plaie et l'amour des guenilles,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Bâton des exilés, lampe des inventeurs,
Confesseur des pendus et des conspirateurs,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Père adoptif de ceux qu'en sa noire colère
Du paradis terrestre a chassés Dieu le Père,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!
Prière
Gloire et louange à toi, Satan, dans les hauteurs
Du Ciel, où tu régnas, et dans les profondeurs
De l'Enfer, où, vaincu, tu rêves en silence!
Fais que mon âme un jour, sous l'Arbre de Science,
Près de toi se repose, à l'heure où sur ton front
Comme un Temple nouveau ses rameaux s'épandront!


— Charles Baudelaire, Fleurs du mal (1857)


The Litany of Satan

O you, the wisest and fairest of the Angels,
God betrayed by destiny and deprived of praise,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
O Prince of Exile, you who have been wronged
And who vanquished always rise up again more strong,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
You who know all, great king of hidden things,
The familiar healer of human sufferings,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
You who teach through love the taste for Heaven
To the cursed pariah, even to the leper,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
You who of Death, your mistress old and strong,
Have begotten Hope, — a charming madcap!
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
You who give the outlaw that calm and haughty look
That damns the whole multitude around his scaffold.
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
You who know in what nooks of the miserly earth
A jealous God has hidden precious stones,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
You whose clear eye sees the deep arsenals
Where the tribe of metals sleeps in its tomb,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
You whose broad hand conceals the precipice
From the sleep-walker wandering on the building's ledge,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
You who soften magically the old bones
Of belated drunkards trampled by the horses,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
You who to console frail mankind in its sufferings
Taught us to mix sulphur and saltpeter,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
You who put your mark, O subtle accomplice,
Upon the brow of Croesus, base and pitiless,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
You who put in the eyes and hearts of prostitutes
The cult of sores and the love of rags and tatters,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
Staff of those in exile, lamp of the inventor,
Confessor of the hanged and of conspirators,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
Adopted father of those whom in black rage
— God the Father drove from the earthly paradise,
O Satan, take pity on my long misery!
Prayer
Glory and praise to you, O Satan, in the heights
Of Heaven where you reigned and in the depths
Of Hell where vanquished you dream in silence!
Grant that my soul may someday repose near to you
Under the Tree of Knowledge, when, over your brow,
Its branches will spread like a new Temple!


— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)


Litanies of Satan

Wisest of Angels, whom your fate betrays,
And, fairest of them all, deprives of praise,
Satan have pity on my long despair!
O Prince of exiles, who have suffered wrong,
Yet, vanquished, rise from every fall more strong,
Satan have pity on my long despair!
All-knowing lord of subterranean things,
Who remedy our human sufferings,
Satan have pity on my long despair!
To lepers and lost beggars full of lice,
You teach, through love, the taste of Paradise.
Satan have pity on my long despair!
You who on Death, your old and sturdy wife,
Engendered Hope — sweet folly of this life —
Satan have pity on my long despair!
You give to the doomed man that calm, unbaffled
Gaze that rebukes the mob around the scaffold,
Satan have pity on my long despair!
You know in what closed corners of the earth
A jealous God has hidden gems of worth.
Satan have pity on my long despair!
You know the deepest arsenals, where slumber
The breeds of buried metals without number.
Satan have pity on my long despair!
You whose huge hand has hidden the abyss
From sleepwalkers that skirt the precipice,
Satan have pity on my long despair!
You who give suppleness to drunkards' bones
When trampled down by horses on the stones,
Satan have pity on my long despair!
You who, to make his sufferings the lighter,
Taught man to mix the sulphur with the nitre,
Satan have pity on my long despair!
You fix your mask, accomplice full of guile,
On rich men's foreheads, pitiless and vile.
Satan have pity on my long despair!
You who fill the hearts and eyes of whores
With love of trifles and the cult of sores,
Satan have pity on my long despair!
The exile's staff, inventor's lamp, caresser
Of hanged men, and of plotters the confessor,
Satan have pity on my long despair!
Step-father of all those who, robbed of pardon,
God drove in anger out of Eden's garden
Satan have pity on my long despair!
Prayer
Praise to you, Satan! in the heights you lit,
And also in the deeps where now you sit,
Vanquished, in Hell, and dream in hushed defiance
O that my soul, beneath the Tree of Science
Might rest near you, while shadowing your brows,
It spreads a second Temple with its boughs.


— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)



Litany to Satan

O wise among all Angels ordinate,
God foiled of glory, god betrayed by fate,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
O Prince of Exile doomed to heinous wrong,
Who, vanquished, riseth ever stark and strong,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Thou knowest all, proud king of occult things,
Familiar healer of man's sufferings,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Thy love wakes thirst for Heaven in one and all:
Leper, pimp, outcast, fool and criminal,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Of Death, thy brave leal wanton, Thou didst breed,
Sweet madcap Hope to charm our idle need,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Thy gift, that bland imperious glance that hallows
The damned, and damns the blest about the gallows,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
In coigns of miser earth veined with dead bones
Thou knowest what jealous God hid precious stones,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Thy fierce eyes pierce deep arsenals in which
The tribe of metals sleep, entombed and rich,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Thy broad palm cloaks the precipice's edge
For sleepwalkers, poised on a building's ledge,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Thy magic softens bones of drunkards struck
By hooves of horses on a speeding truck,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
To cheer him, Thou didst teach frail man, Thy friend,
How aptly sulphur and saltpeter blend,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Thou, skilled accomplice, Who dost stamp thy mark
Upon the brow of Croesus, harsh and stark,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Thou Who didst lend the eyes and hearts of whores
Their love of tatters and their cult of sores,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Thou, sage's lamp and exile's staff, serene
Guide to those kneeling by the guillotine,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Father to those whom God the Father's vice
Of vengeance drove from earthly paradise,
Satan, O pity my long wretchedness!
Envoi
Glory and praise to Thee, Satan, on high,
Where Thou didst reign, in Hell where Thou dost lie,
Vanquished, silent, dreaming eternally.
Grant that my soul some day rest close to Thee
Under the Tree of Knowledge which shall spread
Its branches like a Temple overhead.


— Jacques LeClercq, Flowers of Evil (Mt Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper Press, 1958)



The Litanies of Satan

O thou, of all the Angels loveliest and most learned,
To whom no praise is chanted and no incense burned,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
O Prince of exile, god betrayed by foulest wrong,
Thou that in vain art vanquished, rising up more strong,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
O thou who knowest all, each weak and shameful thing,
Kind minister to man in anguish, mighty king,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
Thou that dost teach the leper, the pariah we despise,
To love like other men, and taste sweet Paradise,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
O thou, that in the womb of Death, thy fecund mate,
Engenderest Hope, with her sweet eyes and her mad gait,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
Thou who upon the scaffold dost give that calm and proud
Demeanor to the felon, which condemns the crowd,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
Thou that hast seen in darkness and canst bring to light
The gems a jealous God has hidden from our sight,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
Thou to whom all the secret arsenals are known
Where iron, where gold and silver, slumber, locked in stone,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
Thou whose broad hand dost hide the precipice from him
Who, barefoot, in his sleep, walks on the building's rim,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
O thou who makest supple between the horses' feet
The old bones of the drunkard fallen in the street,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
Thou who best taught the frail and over-burdened mind
How easily saltpeter and sulphur are combined,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
Thou that hast burned thy brand beyond all help secure,
Into the rich man's brow, who tramples on the poor,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
O thou, who makest gentle the eyes and hearts of whores
With kindness for the wretched, homage for rags and sores,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
Staff of the exile, lamp of the inventor, last
Priest of the man about whose neck the rope is passed,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
O thou, adopted father of those fatherless
Whom God from Eden thrust in terror and nakedness,
Satan, have pity upon me in my deep distress!
Prayer

Glory and praise to thee, Satan, in the most high,
Where thou didst reign; and in deep hell's obscurity,
Where, manacled, thou broodest long! O silent power,
Grant that my soul be near to thee in thy great hour,
When, like a living Temple, victorious bough on bough,
Shall rise the Tree of Knowledge, whose roots are in thy brow!


— Edna St. Vincent Millay, Flowers of Evil (NY: Harper and Brothers, 1936)



Litany to Satan

Oh, you, most remarkable of angels
Driven from the divine crush of the skies —
You were the first exile.
The billions have followed,
Either into new lands or immediate graves
You heal our discontents
And make us strong through
Hate and anger of our masters
And the weariness of the days
The cancer victims, young beauties with ulcers
Alcoholics who won't be content with their O.K. jobs
Would be happy to give themselves up to the paradise
You maintain below.
Through your agent, Death,
You give us hope and
The curiosity to see tomorrow;
The guilty have their calm photographs
Printed in the newspaper. It is our joy
To see them. Satan,
Whose hands-on the perishable —
Guides drunken feet to cars
Encourages tired whores
Broke drug addicts to score again
Violent alcoholics to hit away
Sends those who want love,
Terrible lovers —
Take pity on our pain?
We are exiles, too!
Prayer
Satan, a prayer to you because we cannot reach anyone else.
Only we are left to remember your unfair loss.
This hell we do not accept silently.
Help us take more apples from the tree —
Let nothing remain unseen!
When you shoot out
To flower again
Remember us not as brute but as
Ones who accept the torture
Again and again.


— Will Schmitz


Les Litanies de Satan

Wisest and fairest of the Angels young,
O god whom fate betrayed and left unsung,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
o exiled Prince borne down by many lies,
who, conquered, ever mightier dost arise,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
o thou who knowest all things, who dost reign
in nether worlds, who healest all men's pain,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
thou who to pariahs and lepers dost
reveal, through love, the heaven they have lost,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
thou who with Death, that old and mighty trull,
begot us Hope, so mad, so beautiful!
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
o thou who gives bandits, doomed to die,
the brows which damn a nation, standing nigh,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
o though who knowest in what crabbed zones
of earth, God locked away the precious stones,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
o thou who seest through the deep dark walls
where sleep the metals' buried arsenals,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
o thou whose hands upon the housetop keep
the abysses veiled from those who walk in sleep,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
o thou who savest from the horses' feet
the poor old drunkard fallen in the street,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
o thou who showest suffering mortals how
to mix the salts and sulphur — blessèd thou
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
thou who dost brand in subtle friendliness
the brows of rich men base and merciless,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
o thou who hussies' eyes and bosoms chill
with lust of blood and love of rags dost fill,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
staff of the exiled, torch inventors woo,
confessor of the gallows' plotting crew,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
o foster-father of us all, who share
God's primal curse, and lost our Eden there,
Satan, have pity on my long despair!
glory and praise to the, in heaven above
where thou didst reign, and in the abysses of
thy Hell, where thou art brooding, silently!
grant that with thee my soul, beneath the Tree
of Knowledge may find rest, when, o'er thy brows,
like a new Temple it puts forth its boughs!


— Lewis Piaget Shanks, Flowers of Evil (New York: Ives Washburn, 1931)


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Oct 03 19:59
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RE: Post a Poem
Komm in den totgesagten Park

Komm in den totgesagten park und schau:
Der schimmer ferner lächelnder gestade,
Der reinen wolken unverhofftes blau
Erhellt die weiher und die bunten pfade.

Dort nimm das tiefe gelb, das weiche grau
Von birken und von buchs, der wind ist lau,
Die späten rosen welkten noch nicht ganz,
Erlese küsse sie und flicht den kranz.

Vergiss auch diese letzten astern nicht,
Den purpur um die ranken wilder reben
Und auch was übrig blieb von grünem leben
Verwinde leicht im herbstlichen gesicht.

- Stefan George


Come to the Park they said was dead

Come to the park they said was dead. Pursue:
the shimmer of remote and shining harbors,
of purest clouds' quite unexpected blue
illuminating ponds and colored arbours.

Take here the yellow deep, the subtle grey
of birch and box wood. Mild are winds today
and latest roses still your eye will find.
Select them, kiss them, and a garland wind:

Do not forget late asters, and embrace
the crimson round the tendrils of wild vine,
and what remains of verdant life, align
and twine to features of your autumn's face.


transl. Walter W. Aue


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Oct 05 14:47
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Phlegethon
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RE: Post a Poem
Ergo bibamus!

Hier sind wir versammelt zu löblichem Tun;
Drum, Brüderchen! Ergo bibamus.
Die Gläser, sie klingen, Gespräche, sie ruh'n;
Beherziget Ergo bibamus.

Das heißt noch ein altes, ein tüchtiges Wort:
Es passet zum ersten und passet so fort,
Und schallet ein Echo vom festlichen Ort,
Ein herrliches Ergo bibamus.

Ich hatte mein freundliches Liebchen geseh'n,
Da dacht' ich mir: Ergo bibamus.
Und nahte mich traulich; da ließ sie mich steh'n.
Ich half mir und dachte: Bibamus.

Und wenn sie versöhnet euch herzet und küßt
Und wenn ihr das Herzen und Küssen vermißt,
So bleibet nur, bis ihr was Besseres wißt,
Beim tröstlichen Ergo bibamus.

Mich ruft mein Geschick von den Freunden hinweg;
Ihr Redlichen! Ergo bibamus.
Ich scheide von hinnen mit leichtem Gepäck;
Drum doppeltes Ergo bibamus.

Und was auch der Filz von dem Leibe sich schmorgt,
So bleibt für den Heitern doch immer gesorgt,
Weil immer dem Frohen der Fröhliche borgt;
Drum, Brüderchen! Ergo bibamus.

Was sollen wir sagen zum heutigen Tag!
Ich dächte nur: Ergo bibamus.
Er ist nun einmal von besonderem Schlag;
Drum immer aufs neue: Bibamus.

Er führet die Freude durchs offene Tor,
Es glänzen die Wolken, es teilt sich der Flor,
Da scheint uns ein Bildchen, ein göttliches, vor;
Wir klingen und singen: Bibamus.


- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1810.


ERGO BIBAMUS!

For a praiseworthy object we're now gather'd here,
So, brethren, sing: ERGO BIBAMUS!
Tho' talk may be hush'd, yet the glasses ring clear,
Remember then: ERGO BIBAMUS!

In truth 'tis an old, 'tis an excellent word,
With its sound so befitting each bosom is stirr'd,
And an echo the festal hall filling is heard,
A glorious ERGO BIBAMUS!

I saw mine own love in her beauty so rare,
And bethought me of: ERGO BIBAMUS;
So I gently approach'd, and she let me stand there,
While I help'd myself, thinking: BIBAMUS!

And when she's appeased, and will clasp you and kiss,
Or when those embraces and kisses ye miss,
Take refuge, till sound is some worthier bliss,
In the comforting ERGO BIBAMUS!

I am call'd by my fate far away from each friend;
Ye loved ones, then: ERGO BIBAMUS!
With wallet light-laden from hence I must wend.
So double our ERGO BIBAMUS!

Whate'er to his treasures the niggard may add,
Yet regard for the joyous will ever be had,
For gladness lends over its charms to the glad,
So, brethren, sing; ERGO BIBAMUS!

And what shall we say of to-day as it flies?
I thought but of: ERGO BIBAMUS
'Tis one of those truly that seldom arise,
So again and again sing: BIBAMUS!

For joy through a wide-open portal it guides,
Bright glitter the clouds, as the curtain divides,
An a form, a divine one, to greet us in glides,
While we thunder our: ERGO BIBAMUS!


- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1810.


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Oct 05 22:56
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RE: Post a Poem
The Parable Of The Old Man And The Young

by Wilfred Owen

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an Angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him, thy son.
Behold! Caught in a thicket by its horns,
A Ram. Offer the Ram of Pride instead.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.



Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Oct 05 23:17
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RE: Post a Poem
Der Erlkönig

Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind?
Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind;
Er hat den Knaben wohl in dem Arm,
Er fasst ihn sicher, er hält ihn warm.

Mein Sohn, was birgst du so bang dein Gesicht? —
Siehst, Vater, du den Erlkönig nicht?
Den Erlenkönig mit Kron’ und Schweif? —
Mein Sohn, es ist ein Nebelstreif. —

„Du liebes Kind, komm, geh mit mir!
Gar schöne Spiele spiel’ ich mit dir;
Manch’ bunte Blumen sind an dem Strand,
Meine Mutter hat manch gülden Gewand.“ —

Mein Vater, mein Vater, und hörest du nicht,
Was Erlenkönig mir leise verspricht? —
Sei ruhig, bleibe ruhig, mein Kind;
In dürren Blättern säuselt der Wind. —

„Willst, feiner Knabe, du mit mir gehn?
Meine Töchter sollen dich warten schön;
Meine Töchter führen den nächtlichen Reihn
Und wiegen und tanzen und singen dich ein.“ —

Mein Vater, mein Vater, und siehst du nicht dort
Erlkönigs Töchter am düstern Ort? —
Mein Sohn, mein Sohn, ich seh’ es genau:
Es scheinen die alten Weiden so grau. —

„Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schöne Gestalt;
Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch’ ich Gewalt.“ —
Mein Vater, mein Vater, jetzt faßt er mich an!
Erlkönig hat mir ein Leids getan! —

Dem Vater grauset’s; er reitet geschwind,
Er hält in Armen das ächzende Kind,
Erreicht den Hof mit Mühe und Not;
In seinen Armen das Kind war tot.


- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1782


THE ERL-KING

Who rides there so late through the night dark and drear?
The father it is, with his infant so dear;
He holdeth the boy tightly clasp'd in his arm,
He holdeth him safely, he keepeth him warm.

"My son, wherefore seek'st thou thy face thus to hide?"
"Look, father, the Erl-King is close by our side!
Dost see not the Erl-King, with crown and with train?"
"My son, 'tis the mist rising over the plain."

"Oh, come, thou dear infant! oh come thou with me!
Full many a game I will play there with thee;
On my strand, lovely flowers their blossoms unfold,
My mother shall grace thee with garments of gold."

"My father, my father, and dost thou not hear
The words that the Erl-King now breathes in mine ear?"
"Be calm, dearest child, 'tis thy fancy deceives;
'Tis the sad wind that sighs through the withering leaves."

"Wilt go, then, dear infant, wilt go with me there?
My daughters shall tend thee with sisterly care
My daughters by night their glad festival keep,
They'll dance thee, and rock thee, and sing thee to sleep."

"My father, my father, and dost thou not see,
How the Erl-King his daughters has brought here for me?"
"My darling, my darling, I see it aright,
'Tis the aged grey willows deceiving thy sight."

"I love thee, I'm charm'd by thy beauty, dear boy!
And if thou'rt unwilling, then force I'll employ."
"My father, my father, he seizes me fast,
Full sorely the Erl-King has hurt me at last."

The father now gallops, with terror half wild,
He grasps in his arms the poor shuddering child;
He reaches his courtyard with toil and with dread,--
The child in his arms finds he motionless, dead.


- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1782


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Oct 05 23:23
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Post: #46
RE: Post a Poem
Rainer Maria Rilke, Duineser Elegien (1912)

Die erste Elegie

Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn aus der Engel
Ordnungen? und gesetzt selbst, es nähme
einer mich plötzlich ans Herz: ich verginge von seinem
stärkeren Dasein. Denn das Schöne ist nichts
als des Schrecklichen Anfang, den wir noch grade ertragen,
und wir bewundern es so, weil es gelassen verschmäht,
uns zu zerstören. Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich.
Und so verhalt ich mich denn und verschlucke den Lockruf
dunkelen Schluchzens. Ach, wen vermögen
wir denn zu brauchen? Engel nicht, Menschen nicht,
und die findigen Tiere merken es schon,
dass wir nicht sehr verlässlich zu Haus sind
in der gedeuteten Welt. Es bleibt uns vielleicht
irgend ein Baum an dem Abhang, dass wir ihn täglich
wiedersähen; es bleibt uns die Straße von gestern
und das verzogene Treusein einer Gewohnheit,
der es bei uns gefiel, und so blieb sie und ging nicht.
O und die Nacht, die Nacht, wenn der Wind voller Weltraum
uns am Angesicht zehrt -, wem bliebe sie nicht, die ersehnte,
sanft enttäuschende, welche dem einzelnen Herzen
mühsam bevorsteht. Ist sie den Liebenden leichter?
Ach, sie verdecken sich nur mit einander ihr Los.
Weißt du's noch nicht? Wirf aus den Armen die Leere
zu den Räumen hinzu, die wir atmen; vielleicht da die Vögel
die erweiterte Luft fühlen mit innigerm Flug.

Ja, die Frühlinge brauchten dich wohl. Es muteten manche
Sterne dir zu, dass du sie spürtest. Es hob
sich eine Woge heran im Vergangenen, oder
da du vorüberkamst am geöffneten Fenster,
gab eine Geige sich hin. Das alles war Auftrag.
Aber bewältigtest du's? Warst du nicht immer
noch von Erwartung zerstreut, als kündigte alles
eine Geliebte dir an? (Wo willst du sie bergen,
da doch die großen fremden Gedanken bei dir
aus und ein gehn und öfters bleiben bei Nacht.)
Sehnt es dich aber, so singe die Liebenden; lange
noch nicht unsterblich genug ist ihr berühmtes Gefühl.
Jene, du neidest sie fast, Verlassenen, die du
so viel liebender fandst als die Gestillten. Beginn
immer von neuem die nie zu erreichende Preisung;
denk: es erhält sich der Held, selbst der Untergang war ihm
nur ein Vorwand, zu sein: seine letzte Geburt.
Aber die Liebenden nimmt die erschöpfte Natur
in sich zurück, als wären nicht zweimal die Kräfte,
dieses zu leisten. Hast du der Gaspara Stampa
denn genügend gedacht, dass irgend ein Mädchen,
dem der Geliebte entging, am gesteigerten Beispiel
dieser Liebenden fühlt: dass ich würde wie sie?
Sollen nicht endlich uns diese ältesten Schmerzen
fruchtbarer werden? Ist es nicht Zeit, dass wir liebend
uns vom Geliebten befrein und es bebend bestehn:
wie der Pfeil die Sehne besteht, um gesammelt im Absprung
mehr zu sein als er selbst. Denn Bleiben ist nirgends.


Stimmen, Stimmen. Höre, mein Herz, wie sonst nur
Heilige hörten: dass sie der riesige Ruf
aufhob vom Boden; sie aber knieten,
Unmögliche, weiter und achtetens nicht:
So waren sie hörend. Nicht, dass du Gottes ertrügest
die Stimme, bei weitem. Aber das Wehende höre,
die ununterbrochene Nachricht, die aus Stille sich bildet.
Es rauscht jetzt von jenen jungen Toten zu dir.
Wo immer du eintratest, redete nicht in Kirchen
zu Rom und Neapel ruhig ihr Schicksal dich an?
Oder es trug eine Inschrift sich erhaben dir auf,
wie neulich die Tafel in Santa Maria Formosa.
Was sie mir wollen? leise soll ich des Unrechts
Anschein abtun, der ihrer Geister
reine Bewegung manchmal ein wenig behindert.


Freilich ist es seltsam, die Erde nicht mehr zu bewohnen,
kaum erlernte Gebräuche nicht mehr zu üben,
Rosen, und andern eigens versprechenden Dingen
nicht die Bedeutung menschlicher Zukunft zu geben;
das, was man war in unendlich ängstlichen Händen,
nicht mehr zu sein, und selbst den eigenen Namen
wegzulassen wie ein zerbrochenes Spielzeug.
Seltsam, die Wünsche nicht weiterzuwünschen. Seltsam,
alles, was sich bezog, so lose im Raume
flattern zu sehen. Und das Totsein ist mühsam
und voller Nachholn, dass man allmählich ein wenig
Ewigkeit spürt. - Aber Lebendige machen
alle den Fehler, dass sie zu stark unterscheiden.
Engel (sagt man) wüssten oft nicht, ob sie unter
Lebenden gehn oder Toten. Die ewige Strömung
reißt durch beide Bereiche alle Alter
immer mit sich und übertönt sie in beiden.

Schließlich brauchen sie uns nicht mehr, die Früheentrückten,
man entwöhnt sich des Irdischen sanft, wie man den Brüsten
milde der Mutter entwächst. Aber wir, die so große
Geheimnisse brauchen, denen aus Trauer so oft
seliger Fortschritt entspringt -: könnten wir sein ohne sie?
Ist die Sage umsonst, dass einst in der Klage um Linos
wagende erste Musik dürre Erstarrung durchdrang;
dass erst im erschrockenen Raum, dem ein beinah göttlicher Jüngling
plötzlich für immer enttrat, das Leere in jene
Schwingung geriet, die uns jetzt hinreißt und tröstet und hilft.




Rainer Maria Rilke, The Duino Elegies:

The First Elegy

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic
Orders? And even if one were to suddenly
take me to its heart, I would vanish into its
stronger existence. For beauty is nothing but
the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear,
and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains
to destroy us. Every Angel is terror.
And so I hold myself back and swallow the cry
of a darkened sobbing. Ah, who then can
we make use of? Not Angels: not men,
and the resourceful creatures see clearly
that we are not really at home
in the interpreted world. Perhaps there remains
some tree on a slope, that we can see
again each day: there remains to us yesterday’s street,
and the thinned-out loyalty of a habit
that liked us, and so stayed, and never departed.
Oh, and the night, the night, when the wind full of space
wears out our faces – whom would she not stay for,
the longed-for, gentle, disappointing one, whom the solitary heart
with difficulty stands before. Is she less heavy for lovers?
Ah, they only hide their fate between themselves.
Do you not know yet? Throw the emptiness out of your arms
to add to the spaces we breathe; maybe the birds
will feel the expansion of air, in more intimate flight.

Yes, the Spring-times needed you deeply. Many a star
must have been there for you so you might feel it. A wave
lifted towards you out of the past, or, as you walked
past an open window, a violin
gave of itself. All this was their mission.
But could you handle it? Were you not always,
still, distracted by expectation, as if all you experienced,
like a Beloved, came near to you? (Where could you contain her,
with all the vast strange thoughts in you
going in and out, and often staying the night.)
But if you are yearning, then sing the lovers: for long
their notorious feelings have not been immortal enough.
Those, you almost envied them, the forsaken, that you
found as loving as those who were satisfied. Begin,
always as new, the unattainable praising:
think: the hero prolongs himself, even his falling
was only a pretext for being, his latest rebirth.
But lovers are taken back by exhausted Nature
into herself, as if there were not the power
to make them again. Have you remembered
Gastara Stampa sufficiently yet, that any girl,
whose lover has gone, might feel from that
intenser example of love: ‘Could I only become like her?’
Should not these ancient sufferings be finally
fruitful for us? Isn’t it time that, loving,
we freed ourselves from the beloved, and, trembling, endured
as the arrow endures the bow, so as to be, in its flight,
something more than itself? For staying is nowhere.

Voices, voices. Hear then, my heart, as only
saints have heard: so that the mighty call
raised them from the earth: they, though, knelt on
impossibly and paid no attention:
such was their listening. Not that you could withstand
God’s voice: far from it. But listen to the breath,
the unbroken message that creates itself from the silence.
It rushes towards you now, from those youthfully dead.
Whenever you entered, didn’t their fate speak to you,
quietly, in churches in Naples or Rome?
Or else an inscription exaltedly impressed itself on you,
as lately the tablet in Santa Maria Formosa.
What do they will of me? That I should gently remove
the semblance of injustice, that slightly, at times,
hinders their spirits from a pure moving-on.

It is truly strange to no longer inhabit the earth,
to no longer practice customs barely acquired,
not to give a meaning of human futurity
to roses, and other expressly promising things:
no longer to be what one was in endlessly anxious hands,
and to set aside even one’s own
proper name like a broken plaything.
Strange: not to go on wishing one’s wishes. Strange
to see all that was once in place, floating
so loosely in space. And it’s hard being dead,
and full of retrieval, before one gradually feels
a little eternity. Though the living
all make the error of drawing too sharp a distinction.
Angels (they say) would often not know whether
they moved among living or dead. The eternal current
sweeps all the ages, within it, through both the spheres,
forever, and resounds above them in both.

Finally they have no more need of us, the early-departed,
weaned gently from earthly things, as one outgrows
the mother’s mild breast. But we, needing
such great secrets, for whom sadness is often
the source of a blessed progress, could we exist without them?
Is it a meaningless story how once, in the grieving for Linos,
first music ventured to penetrate arid rigidity,
so that, in startled space, which an almost godlike youth
suddenly left forever, the emptiness first felt
the quivering that now enraptures us, and comforts, and helps.



Rainer Maria Rilke, January 21, 1912, Duino


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Oct 06 00:00
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Post: #47
RE: Post a Poem
The Second Coming

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of i{Spiritus Mundi}
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at laSt,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats
2012 Oct 06 13:34
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Post: #48
RE: Post a Poem
The Shield of Achilles

by W. H. Auden

She looked over his shoulder
For vines and olive trees,
Marble well-governed cities
And ships upon untamed seas,
But there on the shining metal
His hands had put instead
An artificial wilderness
And a sky like lead.

A plain without a feature, bare and brown,
No blade of grass, no sign of neighborhood,
Nothing to eat and nowhere to sit down,
Yet, congregated on its blankness, stood
An unintelligible multitude,
A million eyes, a million boots in line,
Without expression, waiting for a sign.

Out of the air a voice without a face
Proved by statistics that some cause was just
In tones as dry and level as the place:
No one was cheered and nothing was discussed;
Column by column in a cloud of dust
They marched away enduring a belief
Whose logic brought them, somewhere else, to grief.

She looked over his shoulder
For ritual pieties,
White flower-garlanded heifers,
Libation and sacrifice,
But there on the shining metal
Where the altar should have been,
She saw by his flickering forge-light
Quite another scene.

Barbed wire enclosed an arbitrary spot
Where bored officials lounged (one cracked a joke)
And sentries sweated for the day was hot:
A crowd of ordinary decent folk
Watched from without and neither moved nor spoke
As three pale figures were led forth and bound
To three posts driven upright in the ground.

The mass and majesty of this world, all
That carries weight and always weighs the same
Lay in the hands of others; they were small
And could not hope for help and no help came:
What their foes like to do was done, their shame
Was all the worst could wish; they lost their pride
And died as men before their bodies died.

She looked over his shoulder
For athletes at their games,
Men and women in a dance
Moving their sweet limbs
Quick, quick, to music,
But there on the shining shield
His hands had set no dancing-floor
But a weed-choked field.

A ragged urchin, aimless and alone,
Loitered about that vacancy; a bird
Flew up to safety from his well-aimed stone:
That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
Of any world where promises were kept,
Or one could weep because another wept.

The thin-lipped armorer,
Hephaestos, hobbled away,
Thetis of the shining breasts
Cried out in dismay
At what the god had wrought
To please her son, the strong
Iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles
Who would not live long.
2012 Oct 10 04:00
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Post: #49
RE: Post a Poem
Der Panther
Im Jardin des Plantes, Paris

Sein Blick ist von Vorübergehen der Stäbe
so müd geworden, daß er nichts mehr hält.
Ihm ist, als ob es tausend Stäbe gäbe
und hinter tausend Stäben keine Welt.

Der weiche Gang geschmeidig starker Schritte,
der sich im allerkleinsten Kreise dreht,
ist wie ein Tanz von Kraft um eine Mitte,
in der betäubt ein großer Wille steht.

Nur manchmal schiebt der Vorhang der Pupille
sich lautlos auf—. Dann geht ein Bild hinein,
geht durch der Glieder angespannte Stille—
und hört im Herzen auf zu sein.


- Rainer Maria Rilke



The Panther
In the Jardin des Plantes, Paris

His gaze those bars keep passing is so misted
with tiredness, it can take in nothing more.
He feels as though a thousand bars existed,
and no more world beyond them before.

Those supply-powerful paddings, turning there
in the tiniest of circles, well might be
the dance of forces round a center where
some mighty will stands paralyticly.

Just now and then the pupil's noiseless shutter
is lifted.— Then an image will indart,
down through the limbs' intensive stillness flutter,
and end its being in the heart.


transl. J. B. Leishman


The Panther

In the Jardin des Plantes, Paris

His gaze has been so worn by the procession
Of bars that it no longer makes a bond.
Around, a thousand bars seem to be flashing,
And in their flashing show no world beyond.

The lissom steps which round out and re-enter
That tightest circuit of their turning drill
Are like a dance of strength about a center
Wherein there stands benumbed a mighty will.

Only from time to time the pupil's shutter
Will draw apart: an image enters then,
To travel through the tautened body's utter
Stillness—and in the heart end.


transl. Walter Arndt


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2012 Oct 11 01:21
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Post: #50
RE: Post a Poem
Over I journey
-by Novalis, born Friedrich Leopold, Baron von Hardenberg
(1772 - 1801)

Over I journey
And for each pain
A pleasant sting only
Shall one day remain.
Yet in a few moments
Then free am I,
And intoxicated
In Love's lap lie.
Life everlasting
Lifts, wave-like, at me,
I gaze from its summit
Down after thee.
Your lustre must vanish
Yon mound underneath --
A shadow will bring thee
Thy cooling wreath.
Oh draw at my heart, love,
Draw till I'm gone,
That, fallen asleep, I
Still may love on.
I feel the flow of
Death's youth-giving flood
To balsam and ether
Transform my blood --
I live all the daytime
In faith and in might
And in holy fire
I die every night.
2012 Oct 11 06:24
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