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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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Hoelderlin, The God is near, and hard to grasp

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


The Original Greek New Testament
Page 3

But around Asia's gates
Unshaded sea-paths rush
About the unpredictable sea,
Though sailors know where
The islands are. When
I heard that one of these
Was Patmos, I wanted very much
To put in there, to enter
The dark sea-cave. For unlike
Cyprus, rich with springs,
Or any of the others, Patmos
Isn't splendidly situated,

But it's nevertheless hospitable
In a more modest home. And if
A stranger should come to her,
Shipwrecked or homesick
Or grieving for a departed friend,
She'll gladly listen, and her
Offspring as well, the voices
In the hot grove, so that where sands
Blow and heat cracks the earth's surface,
They hear him, these voices,
And echo the man's grief.
Thus she once looked after
The prophet that was loved by God,
Who in his holy youth

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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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