It is a light, that the wind has extinguished.
It is a pub on the heath, that a drunk departs in the afternoon.
It is a vineyard, charred and black with holes full of spiders.
It is a space, that they have white-limed with milk.
The madman has died. It is a South Sea island,
Receiving the Sun-God. One makes the drums roar.
The men perform warlike dances.
The women sway their hips in creeping vines and fire-flowers,
Whenever the ocean sings. O our lost Paradise.
The nymphs have departed the golden woods.
One buries the stranger. Then arises a flicker-rain.
The son of Pan appears in the form of an earth-laborer,
Who sleeps away the meridian at the edge of the glowing asphalt.
It is little girls in a courtyard, in little dresses full of heart-rending poverty!
It is rooms, filled with Accords and Sonatas.
It is shadows, which embrace each other before a blinded mirror.
At the windows of the hospital, the healing warm themselves.
A white steamer carries bloody contagia up the canal.
The strange sister appears again in someone's evil dreams.
Resting in the hazelbush, she plays with his stars.
The student, perhaps a doppelganger, stares long after her from the window.
Behind him stands his dead brother, or he comes down the old spiral stairs.
In the darkness of brown chestnuts, the figure of the young novice.
The garden is in evening. The bats flit around inside the walls of the monastery.
The children of the caretaker cease their playing and seek the gold of the heavens.
Closing accords of a quartet. The little blind girl runs trembling through the tree-lined street.
And later touches her shadow along cold walls, surrounded by fairy tales and holy legends.
It is an empty boat, that drives at evening down the black canal.
In the bleakness of the old asylum, human ruins come apart.
The dead orphans lie at the garden wall.
From gray rooms tread angels with shit-spattered wings.
Worms drip from their yellowed eyelids.
The square before the church is obscure and silent, as in the days of childhood.
Earlier lives glide past upon silvery soles
And the shadows of the damned climb down to the sighing waters.
In his grave, the white-magician plays with his snakes.
Silent above the place of the skull, open God's golden eyes.
dedicated to Karl Kraustranslated by Robert Clarke