“You cities of Euphrates, You streets at Palmyra…”

The Ages of Life

 

You cities of Euphrates,

You streets at Palmyra,

You forests of pillars in the desert plain,

What are you?

Your crests, as you passed beyond

The bounds of those who breathe,

By smoke of heavenly powers and

By fire were taken away;

But now I sit beneath clouds, in which

Peculiar quiet comes to each one, beneath

A pleasing order of oak-trees, on

The heath where the roe-deer feed, and strange

To me, remote and dead seem

The souls of the blessèd.

 

Friedrich Hölderlin
From Selected Poems and Fragments
(translated from the German by Michael Hamburger – Penguin Classics, 1998)

***

Lebensalter

 

Ihr Städte des Euphrats !

Ihr Gassen von Palmyra !

Ihr Säulenwälder in der Eb’ne der Wüste,

Was seid ihr?

Euch hat die Kronen,

Dieweil ihr über die Gränze

Der Othmenden seid gegangen,

Von Himmlischen der Rauchdampf und

Hinweg das Feuer genommen;

Jezt aber siz’ ich unter Wolken, darin

Ein jedes eine Ruh’ hat eigen, unter

Wohleingerichteten Eichen, auf

Der Heide des Rehs, und fremd

Erscheinen und gestorben mir

Der Seeligen Geister.

 

 *friedrich_hoelderlin

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: