Walk in Autumn
Autumn rides high in the leaden grey sky
wielding the lash of the storm without mercy,
and on the abandoned summer path
the wanderer meets the yellow whirlpools of the leaves.
Autumn rides high in the leaden grey sky.
The storm’s lash whistles without mercy.
The wanderer views the great, dark sea
writhing in agony, boiling, heaving
avalanches of waves over drowned rocks
until the day is spent in twilight, disappears.
But in the silent night Autumn gazes
helplessly down at the sea’s moonlit,
gentle swell against spume-covered shores,
while the earth’s wanderer, freed,
sees his world as it really is in the unchanging
starry heaven of eternity.
My Young Beloved
My young beloved, finally we’ve risen
To the cliffs that look out on the sea of age,
The grey, the sad. Against this lichened edge
The long swell of my yearning’s doomed to lessen.
O, don’t you see: I’m autumn, treacherous,
Aiming at your heart a lance that’s poisoned.
You young one, glowing, whose love’s unloosened
Your maiden’s breast to my inflamed caress?
O, don’t you sense it, when your dress is falling
In soft white eddies at your foot,
And you, like Aphrodite, smile to suit
Some paradise’s coral shore unrolling,
That I am broken at my being’s root?
The star I lived on is no more.
The sun in whose retinue
the star moved round the world
is no more.
The life I owned,
the life that was the blood’s delight and agony,
is no more.
That dead star among stars,
that dead sun among sun among suns,
that dead face among faces
which was mine,
I remember no more.
But I am.
Translation: David MCDUFF