O Me! O Life!

O ME! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless — of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light — of the objects mean — of the struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all — of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest — with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring — What good amid these, O me, O life?


That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.



Souvent, pour s'amuser, les hommes d'équipage
Prennent des albatros, vastes oiseaux des mers,
Qui suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage,
Le navire glissant sur les gouffres amers.

A peine les ont-ils déposés sur les planches,
Que ces rois de l'azur, maladroits et honteux,
Laissent piteusement leurs grandes ailes blanches
Comme des avirons traîner à côté d'eux.

Ce voyageur ailé, comme il est gauche et veule! 
Lui, naguère si beau, qu'il est comique et laid!
L'un agace son bec avec un brûle-gueule, 
L'autre mime, en boitant, l'infirme qui volait!

Le Poète, est semblable au prince des nuées
Qui hante la tempête et se rit de l'archer
Exilé sur le sol au milieu des huées,
Ses ailes de géant l'empêchent de marcher.


Iphigenie auf Tauris [Incipit]

Heraus in eure Schatten, rege Wipfel
Des alten, heil’gen, dicht belaubten Haines,
Wie in der Göttin stilles Heiligtum,
Tret’ ich noch jetzt mit schauderndem Gefühl,
Als wenn ich sie zum ersten Mal beträte,
Und es gewöhnt sich nicht mein Geist hierher.
So manches Jahr bewahrt mich hier verborgen
Ein hoher Wille, dem ich mich ergebe;
Doch immer bin ich, wie im ersten, fremd.
Denn ach! Mich trennt das Meer von den Geliebten,
Und an dem Ufer steh’ ich lange Tage,
Das Land der Griechen mit der Seele suchend;
Und gegen meine Seufzer bringt die Welle
Nur dumpfe Töne brausend mir herüber.


Pianto Antico

L'albero a cui tendevi 
la pargoletta mano,
il verde melograno 
dai bei vermigli fior,

nel muto orto solingo
rinverdì tutto or ora,
e giugno lo ristora
di luce, e di calor. 

Tu, fior de la mia pianta
percossa e inaridita,
Tu de l'inutil vita
estremo, unico fior,
sei ne la terra fredda,
sei ne la terra negra; 
né il sol piú ti rallegra,
né ti risveglia amor.

"Carpe Diem"

Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi
finem Dī dederint, Leuconoe; nec Babylonios
temptaris numeros. Ut melius, quidquid erit, pati.

Seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam,
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare
Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques, et spatio brevi
spem longam reseces.
                                    Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem!, quam minimum credula postero.


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs, and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!



dedicated to my grandmother ...