to be

A fathomless abyss is human pain!
Whose eye has ever pierced to its black depths?
To the shadowy gulf of times that are no more
incline your ear… Within there falls
the eternal tear! To the defenceless mouths
that in another age life such as ours
inspired, curious draw nigh…. A groan
arises trembling from the whitened bones!

Life is pain. And life persists,
obscure, but life for all that, even in the tomb.
Matter disintegrates and is dispersed;
the eternal spirit, the underlying essence
suffers without pause. It were in vain
to wield the suicidal steel.
Suicide is unavailing. The form is changed,
the indestructible being endures.

In thee, Pain, we live and have our being!
The supreme yearning of all existing things
is to be lost in nothingness, annulled,
deep in dreamless sleep… And life continues
beyond the frozen confines of the tomb.

There is no death. In vain you clamour for death,
souls destitute of hope. And the implacable
purveyor of suffering creatures ravishes
us to another world. There is no pause.
We crave a single instant of respite
and a voice in the darkness urges: ,,On!”

Yes, life is an evil
and an evil that never ends. The creating God
is the creature of another terrible God
whose name is pain. And the immortal
Saturn is insatiate. And space,
the nursery of suns, the infinite,
are the mighty prison, issueless,
of souls that suffer and that cannot die.

Oh implacable Saturn, make an end at last,
devour created things and then,
since we are immortal, ruminate our lives!
We are thine, Pain, thine for evermore!

but pity for the beings that are not yet,
save in thy mind that hunger stimulates. . .
Pity, oh God, have pity on nothingness!
At last be sated, that the eternal womb,
begetter of the seed of humankind,
turn barren and that life come to an end. . .
And let the world like a dead planet whirl
amid the waveless oceans of the void!

Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera

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there is weeping in my heart …

It rains gently on the town.
Arthur Rimbaud

There is weeping in my heart
as it rains on the town.
What languor is this
that pierces my heart?

O gentle noise of the rain
on the ground and the roofs!
For a heart that is troubled,
O the song of the rain!

There is no cause for weeping
in this sickened heart.
What! No treason?
This sorrow has no cause.

Indeed, it is the worst grief
not to know why,
without love or hate,
my heart has so much grief.

Paul Verlaine

the palace of wei

The wind blows from the North.
He looks and his eyes are cold.
He looks and smiles and then goes forth,
My grief grows old.

The wind blows and the dust.
To-morrow he swears he will come.
His words are kind, but he breaks his trust,
My heart is numb.

All day the wind blew strong,
The sun was buried deep.
I have thought of him so long, so long,
I cannot sleep.

The clouds are black with night,
The thunder brings no rain,
I wake and there is no light,
I bear my pain.

in the evening

I had to do to it – suddenly, I had to sing,
I had no idea why –
But when the evening came I wept bitterly.

Pain was everywhere. Sprang out of everything –
Spread everywhere. Into everything –
And then lay on top of me.

Else Lasker-Schüler