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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.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”