"An die Sonne," Ingeborg Bachmann, Translation by Leonore Hildebrandt and Tony Brinkley
TO THE SUN
Lovelier than the moon with its ennobled light,
Lovelier than the stars, renowned medallions of the night,
Lovelier by far than a swift comet’s fire,
Summoned to loveliness—more than any other in the heavens—
Because her days sustain your life and mine—the Sun.
Beautiful Sun—she rises, she does not forget her work
And concludes, most beautifully in summer when
At the coast the day evaporates and––mirrored feebly––
Sails cross the eye until you tire, and trim the last.
Art is veiled again without the Sun—
You disappear—beneath my eyelids, lashed
By shadows, sea and sand take flight.
Beautiful Light, that sustains and warms us, and in whose miraculous care
I see again and I see you again!
Under the Sun to be under the Sun—nothing is more beautiful…
Nothing is more beautiful than to see a submerged wood and the bird overhead
Who imagines flight and the fish below in shoals,
Dyed, formed, delivered by the light into this world—
To see the radius, the squared fields, my land’s distance,
And the dress you are wearing. Your dress—blue—fashioned like a bell!
Lovely blue in which peacocks walk and bow,
Blue distance, fortune’s realm with weathers for me to feel,
Blue chance horizon! Enthralled, my eyes
Widen again, and blinking, they chafe and burn.
Beautiful Sun that even the dust is obliged to admire—
It is not for the moon, the stars, and not
Because night boasts comets to fool me—
But for you, the Sun, only for you, and soon endlessly,
That I will air grievance over the inevitable loss of my eyes.