Interview for Description of the Lie.
To the Reader
possess our souls and drain the body's force;
we spoonfeed our adorable remorse,
like whores or beggars nourishing their lice.
Our sins are mulish, our confessions lies;
The devil, watching by our sickbeds, hissed
Each day his flattery makes us eat a toad,
Like the poor lush who cannot satisfy,
Gangs of demons are boozing in our brain—
If poison, arson, sex, narcotics, knives
Among the vermin, jackals, panthers, lice,
there's one more ugly and abortive birth.
It's BOREDOM. Tears have glued its eyes together.
Translated by Robert Lowell
The Evening comes, is here, for which, you sought:
The Dusk, wrapping the city in disguise,
Care unto to some, to others peace has brought.
Now while the sordid multitude, with shame
Obeying Pleasure's whip and merciless sway,
Go gathering remorse in servile game,
Give me your hand, my Sorrow, come this way,
Far from them. See the years in ancient dress
Along the balconies of heaven press,
Smiling Regret from deepest waters rise;
Beneath an arch the old Sun goes to bed,
And like a winding-sheet across the skies,
Hear, my Beloved, hear the sweet Night tread.
trans. Barbara Gibbs