At the death of a German
by Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889)
Let the bell cry quickly with its copper sound.
Let the tower move its central-part.
Being closer to the stars, it reveals to everyone
That a good and noble soul: heads to heaven.
Bell you, repeat the grief, and toll with your cry.
When, his soul rises from star to star in the blink of an eye.
While we follow with a step slowed by despair,
To bury the pale clay that breathes no more.
His eye? Its sight, how many sweet scenes did it see?
His head? Oh, how many thoughts was it filled with, exactly?
His heart? How much feeling has it stirred?
His soul? How much desire… how many dreams it has set aside?
And today has none. The world of thought is a shattered world.
His heart is now squizzed by the stilted hand of death.
And blurred are the scenes —that once passed through his wits.
The soul—if it exists— it makes its way through the clouds.
Have you known, dear brother, that the world is a ruin?
That to live is martyrdom? And life is a burden?
Have you known that death is chaos of light?
And the sky’s stars wait for you at the end?
You don’t care any more about the tough riddle of life.
Since you have reduced to zero its huge gap,
While to us, the life is still an unknown number.
And we seek answer in vain to the question we ask.
Sad visionary beings, we knock our heads to no avail,
To read from the-book-of-time signs we did not write.
We put together our line of thought in some way.
We gauge the world’s blueprint with that breadth,
While the thoughts are phantoms and life is a dream.
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