Georg Trakl

3 February 1887 - 3 November 1914 / Salzburg

The Church

Painted angels guard the altars;

And rest and shadows; beam from blue eyes.

In incense-fumes dirty lyes swim.

Figures stagger woebegone in the emptiness.

In the black kneeler a smallish whore

With faded cheeks resembles the Madonna.

In golden beams wax figures hang;

Moon and sun circle the white-bearded God.

A shine of soft columns and skeletons.

The sweet voices of boys died at the chancel.

Very quietly rapt colors move,

A flowing red from Magdalene's lips.

A pregnant woman goes astray in grave dreams

Through this twilight full of masks, flags.

Her shadow crosses the saints' still ways,

The angel's rest in lime-washed rooms.
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