Morphine

Morpheus

Morpheus

 

Groß ist die Ähnlichkeit der beiden schönen
Jünglingsgestalten, ob der eine gleich
Viel blässer als der andre, auch viel strenger,
Fast möcht’ ich sagen: viel vornehmer aussieht
Als jener andre, welcher mich vertraulich
In seine Arme schloß – Wie lieblich sanft
War dann sein Lächeln, und sein Blick wie selig!
Dann mocht’ es wohl geschehn, daß seines Hauptes
Mohnblumenkranz auch meine Stirn berührte
Und seltsam duftend allen Schmerz verscheuchte
Aus meiner Seel’ – Doch solche Linderung,
Sie dauert kurze Zeit; genesen gänzlich
Kann ich nur dann, wenn seine Fackel senkt
Der andre Bruder, der so ernst und bleich. –
Gut ist der Schlaf, der Tod ist besser – freilich
Das beste wäre, nie geboren sein.

[There’s a mirror likeness between the two
Bright, youthfully-shaped figures, though
One’s paler than the other and more austere,
I might even say more perfect, more distinguished,
Than the one who’d take me confidingly in his arms
How soft then, loving, his smile, how blessed his glance!
Then it might well have been, that his wreath
Of white poppies touched my forehead, at times,
Drove the pain from my mind with its strange scent.
But all that’s transient. I can only, now, be well,
When the other one, so serious and pale,
The older brother, lowers his dark torch. –
Sleep is good: and Death is better, yet
Surely never to have been born is best.]

— Heinrich Heine

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3 comments
  1. Lakshmi said:

    This guy must have been quite sad when he wrote this, especially the last sentence. It’s almost a suicide note. I do like the comparison between sleep and death though.

  2. Lakshmi, yes he was depressed. It was speculated that he suffered for years from multiple sclerosis or syphillis

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