Farewell to Youth

As the trembling banished man
Stands at his homeland border
And backwards turns his gaze,
With backwards glinting eyes,
Winds that sweep across it,
Birds in the air he envies,
And shudders by the little mark
That divides his land from others;

As the graves of his dead,
The living and the dearest,
All stand on the far horizon,
He must take a tearful parting;
Every little treasure
Unknown and not yet felt,
All are burning him like sins
And wounds that are always open:

Just so at the parting of his youth,
A heart so full of proudest dreams
Looks into their paradises
And the future with its empty spaces.
His wasted inclinations,
His buried hopes,
All stand on that horizon
Reduced to flowing tears.

And the slow accumulation
Of the minutes into years
All break upon the heart,
All now like wounds are bleeding;
With his pitiful possessions
Captured from a seam of riches,
With trepidation, as mournful traveller,
He strides across the foreign land.

And yet, have not summer's sheaves
No less worth than blossoms
And only in the dampened soil
Can fresh shoots be cared for?
Over rock and barren places
Must flow the spreading stream
And Providence also blesses
The future as well as today.

Translation by: David Paley

by Annette Von Droste-Hulshoff

Other poems of DROSTE-HULSHOFF (8)

Comments (1)

Your imagry is great, I think i have told you that in another poem. Another great.