from Neila, Evening Song

Yvan Goll

Unreal as mist in the silent machinery of night
Your face flies past with moon sails
O Neila, blue offering-smoke

The red songs of the father resound in your mouth
A golden animal horn of fervor
Announces you to fate

I hear rustling in your dark magic
The old seas of midnight
I know, you're no daughter of man

Unearthly you, beyond blood
Neila, the scent of jasmine signifies you
When it announces the spirits of the deep

Night sips her red blossom from your heart
It climbs back to the first kiss
With which memory we play

In my beating pulse I hold the thought firmly
It resists like a frightened bird
Stronger than love it never forgets

From your eye falls time like a green star
Daughter of the moon you illuminate for me
The ruins of the world


In the alembic of the dream
You turn yellow red yellow
Fever blossom
And belladonna of anxiety
On the slopes of darkness

Blood's night-chemistry
Reeling puss-cup
Dewy with tears
That drain her worn-out sleep

Breathe slowly you sick ones
At the wounded wall
Birds from ashes settle themselves on your hands
On your fragile fingers
The last day crumbles

Stern queens of an afternoon
Anointed with gold
How you laugh at me
Shame me with palms
Your son

So sorrow if I don't drag your wagon
into my nettles
Your eyes your wheels
Rattle me in dark dust
Worn-out wanderers near evening 

translated from the German by Donald Wellman