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for Bessie Loos
Truly he loved the sun, as it descended in purple from the hill
The paths in the woods, the singing blackbird
And the joy of the green.
He lived solemnly in the shadow of the tree
And his countenance was pure.
God spoke a tender flame unto his heart:
Quietly he walked his way to the city in the evening;
The dark complaint fell from his mouth:
I want to be a rider.
But he was followed by bush and animal,
A house and a twilight garden with pale people
His murderer sought after him.
Spring and summer and a beautiful autumn
Of the righteous one, so soft his step
Drawing to the darkened rooms of the sleeping.
At night he remained alone with his star;
He saw the snow fall on bare branches
And in the fading light of the entrance way the shadow of the murderer.
In silver sank the unborne’s head.
–Georg Trakl, Kaspar Hausers Lied from Sebastian im Traum (1915) in: Georg Trakl Dichtungen und Briefe: historisch-kritische Ausgabe, vol. 1, p. 95 (S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Estimated number of calories a person consumes during Thanksgiving dinner:
The earth had become twice as dusty during the past century.
A man sued Pennsylvania state police who detained him for 29 days when they mistook his homemade soap for cocaine.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”