May 18, 2013

Friedrich Hölderlin - To Hope


Source: Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin. Translated by Maxine Chernoff and Paul Hoover. 2008. Omnidawn Publishing: Richmond, California. Pg. 165.

Hope! Sweet industrious one
     Who doesn't scorn the house of grief,
         Serves happily, noble one, to form ties
               Between mortals and the powers of heaven.

Where are you? I have lived little; but my evening
    Already breathes cold. And silent as the shadows
         I am already here; and, without a song,
              My shivering heart lies quietly in my chest.

In the green valley, there, where the fresh spring
    Rushes daily from the mountain, and the lovely
         Meadow saffron blooms for me on a fall day,
              There, in the quiet, I will search for you,

My dear, or when at midnight
     Invisible lives stir in the forest,
         And above me the ever-joyful
               Flowering stars are shining,

Daughter of the Upper Air, you appear to me
    Out of your father's gardens, and if you cannot
        Draw near as a spirit of the earth, frighten, o
            Frighten my heart with a different face.