Franz Werfel (10 September 1890 – 26 August 1945 / Prague)
Dead Friend Of My Youth
Now when you come all that way to meet me
From the country house of your death,
I know that you would remove your hat
To greet someone already old to you.
You'd only half recognize this gentleman
Whose face has become so very different.
But to me you'd burn in that former pureness
Kept young by death, a light out of boyhood.
If you would suddenly deign not to dissolve
Your highness and withdraw from my presence,
Perhaps I could simply just close my eyes then,
Perhaps I could also get down on my knees.
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