Georg Trakl: The West (2)

Image

Kolomon Moser. ‘Ausblick durch Stämme’. Oil on canvas, 1907.

Here is my translation of the second part of Georg Trakl’s three-part poem ‘The West’. Trakl’s German original follows.

2

So soft are the green woods
Of our homeland,
The crystal waves
Dying away on the crumbled wall,
And we have wept in sleep;
They wander singing with hesitant steps
Along the thorny hedge,
In the evening summer,
In the sacred peace
Of the far-shining vineyard;
Shadows now in the cool lap
Of night, sorrowing eagles.
So softly a shaft of moonlight closes
The empurpled wounds of sadness.

2

So leise sind die grünen Wälder
Unsrer Heimat,
Die kristallene Woge
Hinsterbend an verfallner Mauer
Und wir haben im Schlaf geweint;
Wandern mit zögernden Schritten
An der dornigen Hecke hin
Singende im Abendsommer,
In heiliger Ruh
Des fern verstrahlenden Weinbergs;
Schatten nun im kühlen Schoß
Der Nacht, trauernde Adler.
So leise schließt ein mondener Strahl
Die purpurnen Male der Schwermut.

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