Saturday, June 15, 2019

W. S. MERWIN - “Hölderlin at the River”

The ice again in my sleep as it was following someone
 it thought was me in the dark and I recognized its white
it held me in its freezing radiance until I
 was the only tree there and I broke and carried
my limbs down through dark rocks calling to the summer
 where are you where will you be how could I have missed you
gold skin the still pond shining under the eglantines
 warm peach hanging in my palm at noon among flowers
all the way I was looking for you and I had nothing to show
 until the last day of the world then far below I could see
the great valley as night fell the one ray withdrawing
 like the note of a horn and afterwards black wind took
all I knew but here is the foreign morning with its clouds
 sailing on water beyond the black trembling poplars
the sky breathless around its blinding fire and the white flocks
 in water meadows on the far shore are flowing past their
silent shepherds only once now I hear the hammer
 ring on the anvil and where I cannot see it
a bird of the ice is singing of its own country
 if any of this remains it will not be me

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