Disenchantment

“Pallas Athena” by Gustav Klimt
Beauteous world, where art thou gone? O, thou,
Nature’s blooming youth, return once more!
Ah, but in song’s fairy region now
Lives thy fabled trace so dear of yore!
Cold and perished, sorrow now the plains,
Not one godhead greets my longing sight;
Ah, the shadow only now remains
Of yon living image bright!
Friedrich Schiller
From “The Gods of Greece”
Translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring

As I, in withering thirst, on eroded, desert soil,
The footprints of burned bare soles leave behind,
While the arid blasts rush to erase the trace,
And to greet me with cutting blades of sand;

As I, in draining search, in lifeless, caustic air,
A tail of laboured breaths and calls leave behind,
While the deafening hiss prevails to silence every sign,
And to swallow the futile cry of my soul;

As I, in consuming love, in the ruins of a better world,
A shadow of defeated pure ideals leave behind,
While, inexorable, every vestige is by time extinguished,
And barbarians vanquish and annihilate every fruit and seed—

I, in obstinate longing, seek refuge in the night — 
Under her mantle, I seek the touch of another soul;
The beauteous world where authentic hearts are open,
And a loving gesture finds a consonant embrace.


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons