Sorrow is a stubborn piece of land
through which, darkling, the blessed mind
sends down roots so as to bloom.
Whereas, in you, my resting heart,
all thing stay nameless.
It’s from the outside things are named:
named for doubt, named for the moment;
but see how quick
we set bliss amongst the names.
And then, the speckless hind steps out,
and, over her, the strongest star,
fulfilled within the frame.
-translated from the German by Paul Eprile, with Alfred Corn
On a poet’s lips I slept
Dreaming like a love-adept
In the sound his breathing kept;
Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blisses,
But feeds on the aërial kisses
Of shapes that haunt thought’s wildernesses.
He will watch from dawn to gloom
The lake-reflected sun illume
The yellow bees in the ivy-bloom,
Nor heed nor see what things they be;
But from these create he can
Forms more real than living man,
Nurslings of immortality!
One of these awakened me,
And I sped to succor thee.