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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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Hoelderlin, Hyperion's song of destiny

Hoelderlin's Poems, Patmos, - here translated by James Mitchell

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Holy spirits, you walk up there
in the light, on soft earth.
Shining god-like breezes
touch upon you gently,
as a woman's fingers
play music on holy strings.


Like sleeping infants the gods
breathe without any plan;
the spirit flourishes continually
in them, chastely kept,
as in a small bud,
and their holy eyes
look out in still
eternal clearness.


A place to rest
isn't given to us.
Suffering humans
decline and blindly fall
from one hour to the next,
like water thrown
from cliff to cliff,
year after year,
down into the Unknown.
 


   Cf. Virgil, To return and view the cheerful skies Boethius, His mourning moved the depths of hell Goethe, Who yearns for the impossible I love Rilke, Ein Wehn im Gott Origen, Let our whole life be a life of prayer,   Gregory Theologian, God is a God of the present  Papacy

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