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At evening the autumnal forests resound
With deadly weapons, the golden plains
And blue lakes, above them the sun
Rolls more darkly by; night enfolds
The dying warriors, the wild lament
Of their broken mouths.
But in the grassy vale the spilled blood,
Red clouds in which an angry god lives,
Gathers softly, lunar coldness;
All roads lead to black decay.
Beneath the golden boughs of night and stars
The sister’s shadow reels through the silent grove
To greet the ghosts of heroes, their bleeding heads;
And the dark flutes of autumn sound softly in the reeds.
O prouder sorrow! you brazen altars
Today an immense anguish feeds the mind’s hot flame,
The unborn descendants.
Poem © By kind permission of Anvil Press Poetry Ltd, from the translation by Margitt Lehbert