You who are close to my heart always,
I welcome you, ancient coffins of stone,
which the cheerful water of Roman days
still flows through, like a wandering song.
Or those other ones that are open wide
like the eyes of a happily waking shepard
-with silence and bee-suck nettle inside,
from which ecstatic butterflies flittered;
everything that has been wrestled from doubt
I welcome-the mouths that burst open after
long knowledge of what it is to be mute.
Do we know this, my friends, or don't we know this?
Both are formed by the hesitant hour
in the deep calm of the human face.
Translated by Stephen Mitchell