Translated by Viera and James Sutherland-Smith
Today I listen again: on the stairs
you are walking up to me,
you fumble on the landing, on the banisters
of daybreak you lean your apocalypse,
I hear your braid plaited long ago
with a noose of death, the fall of eternity in the dream
of millions, your words engraved on the brow
of the century, ineradicable stigma
the fizz of your liquor which with a tear of blood
I have brought from your trapdoor,
I hear the snap of the executioner’s whip,
the Teutonic syrinx.
Come, come in, night of the just, and don’t
stumble at the threshold, don’t stumble. You’ll lead me to the
mountain of your hair, plunge me to the bottom of your tears, you’ll
place me at the pillar of cries among the unlost guard. And there
again with the old moon we will stand with you, looking into each
other’s eyes, your witnesses.
Never more will anyone go under the yoke
of night, Troy will not fall into ruins,
the bull from the marsh will not bear away Europe: you will not stab
the eyes of history with a dagger, you will not snuff out with gas,
you will not trample with the hooves of bulls, barbarian.