May 3, 2013

Friedrich Hölderlin - Ganymede


Source: Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin. Translated by Maxine Chernoff and Paul Hoover. 2008. Omnidawn Publishing: Richmond, California. Pg. 179.

Friedrich Hölderlin - Ganymede

Why do you sleep, son of the mountains, so crookedly,
    Ill-tempered, and freeze on the bare banks?
         Too patient, don't you think of grace when
             Even the gods are thirsty at the table?

Don't you recognize your father's messengers,
     Where sharper winds cut through the ravine?
        Doesn't the invitation of that well-traveled man
            Strike home its ancient meaning?

Now it resounds in his breast, deeply welling up,
    As when he slept high upon the rock.
         In anger now, the one in chains
             Bathes himself, and now he hurries,

Clumsily; now he mocks his chains and
   Takes and breaks and throws them down,
       Drunk with anger, playing here and there,
           As the riverbanks observe him, and at this stranger's

Peculiar voice, the resting herds rise,
     The woods awaken, and deep in the land
         You can hear the river god's voice, and stirring
             At the earth's core the spirit shudders once more.

Spring comes. And everything, in its own way,
    Blossoms. But he is distant; no longer there.
        Now he strays off; geniuses are all
            Too good; he chats away in heaven now.