2016年2月27日 星期六



2014.6.30 當"督學"的詩人。卞之琳有漢譯。

Among School Children
William Butler Yeats (from The Tower, 1928)

I WALK through the long schoolroom questioning;
A kind old nun in a white hood replies;
The children learn to cipher and to sing,
To study reading-books and histories,
To cut and sew, be neat in everything
In the best modern way -- the children's eyes
In momentary wonder stare upon
A sixty-year-old smiling public man.
I dream of a Ledaean body, bent
Above a sinking fire. a tale that she
Told of a harsh reproof, or trivial event
That changed some childish day to tragedy --
Told, and it seemed that our two natures blent
Into a sphere from youthful sympathy,
Or else, to alter Plato's parable,
Into the yolk and white of the one shell.
And thinking of that fit of grief or rage
I look upon one child or t'other there
And wonder if she stood so at that age --
For even daughters of the swan can share
Something of every paddler's heritage --
And had that colour upon cheek or hair,
And thereupon my heart is driven wild:
She stands before me as a living child.
Her present image floats into the mind --
Did Quattrocento finger fashion it
Hollow of cheek as though it drank the wind
And took a mess of shadows for its meat?
And I though never of Ledaean kind
Had pretty plumage once -- enough of that,
Better to smile on all that smile, and show
There is a comfortable kind of old scarecrow.
What youthful mother, a shape upon her lap
Honey of generation had betrayed,
And that must sleep, shriek, struggle to escape
As recollection or the drug decide,
Would think her Son, did she but see that shape
With sixty or more winters on its head,
A compensation for the pang of his birth,
Or the uncertainty of his setting forth?
Plato thought nature but a spume that plays
Upon a ghostly paradigm of things;
Soldier Aristotle played the taws
Upon the bottom of a king of kings;
World-famous golden-thighed Pythagoras
Fingered upon a fiddle-stick or strings
What a star sang and careless Muses heard:
Old clothes upon old sticks to scare a bird.
Both nuns and mothers worship images,
But those the candles light are not as those
That animate a mother's reveries,
But keep a marble or a bronze repose.
And yet they too break hearts -- O presences
That passion, piety or affection knows,
And that all heavenly glory symbolise --
O self-born mockers of man's enterprise;
Labour is blossoming or dancing where
The body is not bruised to pleasure soul.
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

2016年2月24日 星期三


A SUDDEN blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

"The 25 greatest British novels"

Do you agree?
BBC Culture contributor Jane Ciabattari polled 82 book critics from outside the UK, to pick Britain’s best novels ever – this is what some had to say about the top choices.

2016年2月23日 星期二

Autumn Rain by DH Lawrence

Poem of the week: Autumn Rain by DH Lawrence

Intensely alive to the details of the natural world, Lawrence here combines the energy of his free verse with formal invention
Fallen leaves in autumn. Photograph: Tim Ockenden/PA

Carol Rumens

Monday 22 February 2016 11.00 GMT

Autumn Rain

The plane leaves
fall black and wet
on the lawn;

the cloud sheaves
in heaven’s fields set
droop and are drawn

in falling seeds of rain;
the seed of heaven
on my face

falling — I hear again
like echoes even
that softly pace

heaven’s muffled floor,
the winds that tread
out all the grain

Sign up to our Bookmarks newsletter

Read more

of tears, the store
in the sheaves of pain

caught up aloft:
the sheaves of dead
men that are slain

now winnowed soft
on the floor of heaven;
manna invisible

of all the pain
here to us given;
finely divisible
falling as rain.

Autumn Rain was first published in the Egoist, under the editorship of Dora Marsden and Harriet Shaw Weaver, in February 1917. Lawrence included it in the section headed Unrhyming Poems in his Collected volume, a minor point of interest, as his two categories Rhyming and Unrhyming aren’t stringently enforced. The positioning, though, helps the reader see what is gained and what is lost in Lawrence’s revisionist poetics, as he moves from a tightly lyrical, and arguably symbolist, mode of expression to predominantly free verse andWhitmanesque spontaneity.

His free verse poems vary in achievement: at their best, they capture the physical world with an unsurpassed intensity and vigour. Yet I can’t imagine anyone thinking Autumn Rain would be a more effective poem had Lawrence sacrificed his ingenious rhyme-scheme and adopted a more rhetorical or oratorical tone. The vices of copybook traditionalism are quietly transformed: for instance, the inversion in “echoes even” sounds out the trochaic regularity of repeated footsteps. The further possibility of a double meaning for “even” turns the whole device into a masterstroke.

Christian “resurrection theology” appears to inform the harvest symbolism but is under-lit by visions of less supernatural phenomena. The sky, “heaven’s muffled floor”, is the threshing floor where “winds” winnow the harvest of the dead. Despite the “manna” reference, there’s no mention of God, and “heaven” remains uncapitalised. We’re left with an impression of natural recycling rather than divine intervention, even if the descriptive tone is more consolatory than might be considered realistic.

The rhyme scheme makes itself felt in the second stanza. It’s a simple scheme at first. Stanzas one and two rhyme abc, abc, and that pattern, using a new set of rhymes, continues until stanza seven, where the middle line reproduces, in “dead,” the rhyme heard twice before (“tread”, “harvested”). In stanza eight, a new rhyme occurs at the end of its third line (“invisible”). Here, by the way, there’s another apparent adjective-noun inversion, “manna invisible”. It’s an illusion, of course: Lawrence, somewhat awkwardly, but not ineffectively, continues the sentence: “manna invisible // of all the pain …” so readers must re-think the grammatical position of “invisible”. The final quatrain recalls a rhyme first occurring in the “rain” of stanza three, picks up a near-rhyme with “heaven” and “even” in the form of “given”, and partners “invisible” from the previous stanza with “divisible”. There’s a lot more going on in terms of sonic effect, of course, than the “sound” of rhyme: “fall”, “drawn”, “falling”; “sheaves”, “fields”, “seeds” etc. Such assonance is subtly mimetic, never merely decorative. The “aw” of the long “a”, for instance, contrasts with the harshness of sound in “pain” and “slain”, enabling us to hear the imagined transformation of suffering occasioned by the soft, encapsulating autumn rainfall.

Should it be read as a war poem? There might be a connection with the short poem Bombardment, in whose four tercets something more dreadful and dramatic than rain descends from the sky. References to “sheaves of pain” and “sheaves of the dead / men that are slain” and a slight similarity of form may be clues. The final quatrain of Autumn Rain, however, suggests a more inclusive reach, envisioning redemption by metamorphosis for “all the pain / here to us given …”A

2016年2月21日 星期日

"My Mind To Me A Kingdom Is" by Sir Edward Dyer

"My Mind To Me A Kingdom Is" by Sir Edward Dyer
My mind to me a kingdom is;
Such perfect joy therein I find
That it excels all other bliss
Which God or nature hath assign'd.
Though much I want that most would have,
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.
No princely port, nor wealthy store,
No force to win a victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,
No shape to win a loving eye;
To none of these I yield as thrall,--
For why? my mind despise them all.
I see that plenty surfeit oft,
And hasty climbers soonest fall;
I see that such as are aloft
Mishap doth threaten most of all.
These get with toil and keep with fear;
Such cares my mind can never bear.
I press to bear no haughty sway,
I wish no more than may suffice,
I do no more than well I may,
Look, what I want my mind supplies.
Lo ! thus I triumph like a king,
My mind content with anything.
I laugh not at another's loss,
Nor grudge not at another's gain;
No worldly waves my mind can toss;
I brook that is another's bane.
I fear no foe, nor fawn on friend,
I loathe not life, nor dread mine end.
My wealth is health and perfect ease,
And conscience clear my chief defence;
I never seek by bribes to please,
Nor by desert to give offence.
Thus do I live, thus will I die,--
Would all did so as well as I!
A literary sanctuary for what Shakespeare called “sessions of sweet silent thought,” this exquisite gathering of poems speaks to the consolations of solitude. Here is Wordsworth wandering “lonely as a cloud”; Poe confiding “all I loved, I loved alone”; Yeats’s communion with “the deep heart’s core”; and Han Shan’s heart of a hermit, “clean as a white lotus.” From Sir Edward Dyer’s “My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is,” to the spiritual searching of the Transcendentalists, to the meditative verse of Jorie Graham, some of the most indelible poems from every time and culture have grown out of the aloneness inherent in the poet’s art. The poems collected here, whether reflecting on the soul or on nature, addressing an absent loved one, or honoring the self, form a book of respite and contemplation, and a beautiful tribute to the interior life.

"At Last The Secret Is Out" by W.H. Auden

"At Last The Secret Is Out" by W.H. Auden
At last the secret is out,
as it always must come in the end,
the delicius story is ripe to tell
to tell to the intimate friend;
over the tea-cups and into the square
the tongues has its desire;
still waters run deep, my dear,
there's never smoke without fire.
Behind the corpse in the reservoir,
behind the ghost on the links,
behind the lady who dances
and the man who madly drinks,
under the look of fatigue
the attack of migraine and the sigh
there is always another story,
there is more than meets the eye.
For the clear voice suddently singing,
high up in the convent wall,
the scent of the elder bushes,
the sporting prints in the hall,
the croquet matches in summer,
the handshake, the cough, the kiss,
there is always a wicked secret,
a private reason for this.
Poems: Auden is just another reminder of his exhilarating lyric power and his understanding of love and longing in all their sacred and profane guises. One of English poetry's great 20th century masters, Poems: Auden is the short collection of an exemplary champion of human wisdom in its encounter with the mysteries of experience.

2016年2月19日 星期五

"A Time To Talk" by Robert Frost

"A Time To Talk" by Robert Frost
When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around 
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.
From one of the most brilliant and widely read of all American poets, a generous selection of lyrics, dramatic monologues, and narrative poems--all of them steeped in the wayward and isolated beauty of Frost's native New England. Includes his classics "Mending Wall, " "Birches, " and "The Road Not Taken, " as well as poems less famous but equally great.

2016年2月17日 星期三

"Black Cat" by Rainer Maria Rilke

"Black Cat" by Rainer Maria Rilke
A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:
just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.
She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once
as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.
Poems: Rilke contains poems from The Book of Images; New Poems; Requiem for a Friend; Poems, 1906-1926; French Poems; The Life of Mary; Sonnets to Orpheus; The Duino Elegies; Letters to a Young Poet; and an index of first lines.

2016年2月15日 星期一

Lewis Carroll in a letter to May Mileham (6 September 1885)

“7 Lushington Road, Eastbourne 
Dearest May,

Thank you very much indeed for the peaches. They were delicious. Eating one was almost as nice as kissing you; Of course not quite; I think, if I had to give the exact measurement, I should say three – quarters as nice; We are having such a lovely time here; and the sands are beautiful. I only wish I could some day come across you, washing your pocket -handkerchief in a pool among the rocks? But I wander on the beach, and look for you, in vain; and then I say, Where is May? And the stupid boatmen reply, It isn’t May, sir? It’s September?’ But it doesn’t comfort me.

Always your Loving C.L.D.” 

-- Lewis Carroll in a letter to May Mileham (6 September 1885)

2016年2月14日 星期日

"Green" by D. H. Lawrence

"Green" by D. H. Lawrence
The dawn was apple-green,
The sky was green wine held up in the sun,
The moon was a golden petal between.
She opened her eyes, and green
They shone, clear like flowers undone
For the first time, now for the first time seen.

"Love—thou Art High"

"Love—thou Art High" (453) by Emily Dickinson
Love—thou art high—
I cannot climb thee—
But, were it Two—
Who know but we—
Taking turns—at the Chimborazo—
Ducal—at last—stand up by thee—
Love—thou are deep—
I cannot cross thee—
But, were there Two
Instead of One—
Rower, and Yacht—some sovereign Summer—
Who knows—but we'd reach the Sun?
Love—thou are Veiled—
A few—behold thee—
Smile—and alter—and prattle—and die—
Bliss—were an Oddity—without thee—
Nicknamed by God—
"Fish in the Unruffled Lakes" by WH Auden
Fish in the unruffled lakes
Their swarming colours wear,
Swans in the winter air
A white perfection have,
And the great lion walks
Through his innocent grove;
Lion, fish and swan
Act, and are gone
Upon Time’s toppling wave.
We, till shadowed days are done,
We must weep and sing
Duty’s conscious wrong,
The Devil in the clock,
The goodness carefully worn
For atonement or for luck;
We must lose our loves,
On each beast and bird that moves
Turn an envious look.
Sighs for folly done and said
Twist our narrow days,
But I must bless, I must praise
That you, my swan, who have
All gifts that to the swan
Impulsive Nature gave,
The majesty and pride,
Last night should add
Your voluntary love.

It has often been said that love, both sacred and profane, is the only true subject of the lyric poem. Nothing better justifies this claim than the splendid poems in this volume, which range from the writings of ancient China to those of modern-day America and represent, at its most piercing, a universal experience of the human soul. Includes poems by John Donne, Christina Rossetti, W. H. Auden, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Graves, e. e. cummings, Dorothy Parker, William Shakespeare, Sappho, Bhartrhari, Anna Akhmatova, and W. B. Yeats, among many others. More here:http://knopfdoubleday.com/book/186008/love-poems/

Happy Valentine's Day! This letter written by Margery Brews to her fiancé John Paston in February 1477 is the oldest known surviving Valentine's letter in the English language. Describing John as her 'right well-beloved valentine', she tells him she is 'not in good health of body nor of heart, nor shall I be till I hear from you.' Find out how their story unfolded: bit.ly/1LgRDWc

"I beseech you now with all my heart definitely to let me know your whole mind as to the love between us; for necessity compels me to plague you for a reply, having been for more than a year now struck by the dart of love, and being uncertain either of failure or of finding a place in your heart and affection..."
-- Henry VIII of England to Anne Boleyn
Here are 200 irresistible love letters from over the centuries, love letters both historic and fictional, love letters by poets and by princes, love letters enchanting, tragic, comic, superbly selected, beautifully printed, conveniently portable, to have with you wherever and whenever you're in the mood for love.

2016年2月12日 星期五

The amazing story of the King James Bible

The most influential translation in the history of the English language.

Over 400 years after it was commissioned.

"Once by the Pacific" by Robert Frost

"Once by the Pacific" by Robert Frost
The shattered water made a misty din.
Great waves looked over others coming in,
And thought of doing something to the shore
That water never did to land before.
The clouds were low and hairy in the skies,
Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes.
You could not tell, and yet it looked as if
The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff,
The cliff in being backed by continent;
It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.
In this provocative and thoughtful anthology, many voices join in illuminating the remarkably vast and varied American West. The verse collected here ranges from American Indian tribal poems to old folk songs like “The Streets of Laredo,” from country-western lyrics to the work of such foreign poets as Bertolt Brecht and Zbigniew Herbert. Here is the West in all its rich variety–the harsh life of farms and ranches; man’s destructive invasion into forest and desert solitudes; the bars and bistros of San Francisco and Hollywood; Pacific surf and endless highways; the ghost towns, the poverty, and the legendary world of cowpunchers and gunslingers. From Robert Frost’s “Once by the Pacific” to Charles Bukowski’s “Vegas,” from Fred Koller’s “Lone Star State of Mind” to Thom Gunn’s “San Francisco Streets”–the West is evoked in all its incarnations, both actual and mythic. READ an excerpt here: http://knopfdoubleday.com/…/113…/poems-of-the-american-west/

2016年2月6日 星期六

"The Albatross" by Charles Baudelaire

"The Albatross" by Charles Baudelaire
Sometimes for sport the men of loafing crews
Snare the great albatrosses of the deep,
The indolent companions of their cruise 
As through the bitter vastitudes they sweep.
Scarce have they fished aboard these airy kings
When helpless on such unaccustomed floors,
They piteously droop their huge white wings
And trail them at their sides like drifting oars.
How comical, how ugly, and how meek
Appears this soarer of celestial snows!
One, with his pipe, teases the golden beak,
One, limping, mocks the cripple as he goes.
The Poet, like this monarch of the clouds,
Despising archers, rides the storm elate.
But, stranded on the earth to jeering crowds,
The great wings of the giant baulk his gait.
Modern poetry begins with Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), who employed his unequalled technical mastery to create the shadowy, desperately dramatic urban landscape -- populated by the addicted and the damned -- which so compellingly mirrors our modern condition. Deeply though darkly spiritual, titanic in the changes he wrought, Baudelaire looms over all the work, great and small, created in his wake.

2016年2月4日 星期四

"Silence. A Sonnet" (1840) by Edgar Allan Poe

"Silence. A Sonnet" (1840) by Edgar Allan Poe
There are some qualities — some incorporate things
That have a double life — life aptly made,
The type of that twin entity which springs
From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.
There is a two-fold Silence — sea and shore —
Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places,
Newly with grass o’ergrown. Some solemn graces
Some human memories and tearful lore,
Render him terrorless — his name’s “No More.”
He is the corporate Silence — dread him not!
No power hath he of evil in himself;
But should some urgent fate — untimely lot!
Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,
Who haunteth the dim regions where hath trod
No foot of man) — commend thyself to God!
This one-of-a-kind collection of poems about the American South ranges over four centuries of its dramatic history. The arc of poetry of the South, from slave songs to Confederate hymns to Civil War ballads, from Reconstruction turmoil to the Agrarian movement to the dazzling poetry of the New South, is richly varied and historically vibrant. No other region of the United States has been as mythologized as the South, nor contained as many fascinating, beguiling, and sometimes infuriating contradictions. Poems of the American South includes poems both by Southerners and by famous observers of the South who hailed from elsewhere. These range from Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, and Francis Scott Key through Langston Hughes, Robert Penn Warren, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, James Dickey, and Donald Justice, and include a host of living poets as well: Wendell Berry, Rita Dove, Sandra Cisneros, Yusef Komunyakaa, Naomi Shihab Nye, C. D. Wright, Natasha Trethewey, and many more. Organized thematically, the anthology places poems from past centuries in fruitful dialogue with a diverse array of modern voices who are redefining the South with a verve that is reinvigorating American poetry as a whole. READ an excerpt here: http://knopfdoubleday.com/…/235…/poems-of-the-american-south

2016年2月2日 星期二

Hats off to poety of D. H. Lawrence

It's interesting that DH Lawrence should have written a religious poem such as the marvellous one below, Shadows, in which he declares his dependence on a Creator. Some of Lawrence's no

2010.4.20 昨天午讀
主要作者 Lawrence, D. H. (David Herbert), 1885-1930
書名/作者 The paintings of D. H. Lawrence
出版項 Tokyo : Hon-no-Tomosha, 1996
晚上續讀其作油畫之始( 25歲至45歲卒) 導言
譯 a. huxlery 談莎翁之一句

晨間讀 D. H. Lawrence 詩 收入
Paul Keegan主編的英詩選(New Penguin Book of English Verse (2000).)
的6-7首 很獨特 包括蚊 二首 一首談英國和他畫展被警局沒收之事

“Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

MMO-Ensemble's "Western Mystery" inspired the poetry of Emily Dickinson...

“Hope” is the thing with feathers - (314) by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

MMO-Ensemble "Western Mystery" poetry by Emily Dickinson music by Martin Myhre Olsen Siril Malmedal Hauge- vocals Martin Myhre Olsen- saxophone Kaja Fjellber...

2016年2月1日 星期一

FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley died on this day in 1851 (aged 53). She is buried in the graveyard of St Peter's Church, Bournemouth, England.
"I am an unfortunate and deserted creature, I look around and I have no relation or friend upon earth. These amiable people to whom I go have never seen me and know little of me. I am full of fears, for if I fail there, I am an outcast in the world forever."
--The monster to the blind man from FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley

尼采Beyond Good and Evil)一書的卷末詩

hc:Hanching Chung 有意思:我手頭上有1972年企鵝版R. J. Hollingdale翻譯的 (pp.203-04: From High Mountain: Epode),似乎比較簡潔。有空再抄錄。

長短句交替英文Epode)是一首奧德[注 1]中的第三部分。該格律形式由品達等一些詩人確立[2]。在古希臘,隨著合唱抒情詩的演變,新的詩歌形式應運而生,也就是長短句交替。[3]

  1. エポードスエポドスギリシャ語ἐπῳδός, epoidós, epi-(追加の)+oidé(歌)) - 古代ギリシア頌歌を構成する3つの部分の1つ。ストロペーアンティストロペーに続く3つめの結びの歌

    Epode, in verse, is the third part of an ode, which followed the strophe and the antistrophe, and completed the movement.

    Epode - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


來自高山/歌餘(善惡之外(Beyond Good and Evil)一書的卷末詩)
高塔 譯 2016

From High Mountains
Aftersong (Beyond Good and Evil)
-by Friedrich Nietzsche
O noon of life! A time to celebrate!
Oh garden of summer!
Restless happiness in standing, gazing, waiting:—
I wait for friends, ready day and night.
You friends, where are you? Come! It's time! It's time!
Was it not for you that the glacier's grayness
today decked itself with roses?
The stream is seeking you, and wind and clouds
with yearning push themselves higher into the blue today
to look for you from the furthest bird's eye view.
For you my table has been set at the highest point.
Who lives so near the stars?
Who's so near the furthest reaches of the bleak abyss?
My realm—what realm has stretched so far?
And my honey—who has tasted that? ...
There you are, my friends! —Alas, so I'm not the man,
not the one you're looking for?
You hesitate, surprised! —Ah, your anger would be better!
Am I no more the one? A changed hand, pace, and face?
And what am I—for you friends am I not the one?
Have I become another? A stranger to myself?
Have I sprung from myself?
A wrestler who overcame himself so often?
Too often pulling against his very own power,
wounded and checked by his own victory?
I looked where the wind blows most keenly?
I learned to live
where no one lives, in deserted icy lands,
forgot men and god, curse and prayer?
Became a ghost that moves over the glaciers?
—You old friends! Look! Now your gaze is pale,
full of love and horror!
No, be off! Do not rage! You can't live here:
here between the furthest realms of ice and rock—
here one must be a hunter, like a chamois.
I've become a wicket hunter! See, how deep
my bow extends!
It was the strongest man who made such a pull—
Woe betide you! The arrow is dangerous—
like no arrow—away from here! For your own good! ...
You're turning around? —O heart, you deceive enough,
your hopes stayed strong:
hold your door open for new friends!
Let the old ones go! Let go the memory!
Once you were young, now—you are even younger!
What bound us then, a band of one hope—
who reads the signs,
love once etched there—still pale?
I compare it to parchment which the hand
fears to touch—like that discoloured, burned.
No more friends—they are... But how can I name that? —
Just friendly ghosts!
That knocks for me at night on my window and my heart,
that looks at me and says, 'But we were friends? '—
—O shrivelled word, once fragrant as a rose!
O youthful longing which misunderstands itself!
Those yearned for,
whom I imagined changed to my own kin,
they have grown old, have exiled themselves.
Only the one who changes stays in touch with me.
O noon of life! A second youthful time!
O summer garden!
Restless happiness in standing, gazing, waiting!
I wait for friends, ready day and night.
You friends, where are you? Come! It's time! It's time
The song is done—the sweet cry of yearning
died in my mouth:
A magician did it, a friend at the right hour,
a noontime friend—no! Do not ask who it might be—
it was at noon when one turned into two....
Now we celebrate, certain of victory, united,
the feast of feasts:
friend Zarathustra came, the guest of guests!
Now the world laughs, the horror curtain splits,
the wedding came for light and darkness....