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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
The Greeks Us / Greece in West  

Hoelderlin, The God is near, and hard to grasp

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


The Original Greek New Testament
Page 2

Thus I spoke, when faster
Than I could imagine a spirit
Led me forth from my own home
To a place I thought I'd never go.
The shaded forests and yearning
Brooks of my native country
Were glowing in the twilight.
I couldn't recognize the lands
I passed through, but then suddenly
In fresh splendor, mysterious
In the golden haze, quickly emerging
In the steps of the sun,
Fragrant with a thousand peaks,

Asia rose before me.
Blindly I searched for something
Familiar, since the broad streets
Were unknown to me: where the gold-
bejeweled Paktolos comes rushing down
from Tmolus, where Taurus and
Messogis stand,
And the gardens are full of flowers,
Like a quiet fire. Up above
In the light the silver snow
Thrives, and ivy grows from ancient
Times on the inaccessible walls,
Like a witness to immortal life,
While the solemn god-built palaces
Are borne by living columns
Of cypress and laurel.

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   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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