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Erik Johan Stagnelius

(14 October 1793 - 3 April 1823 / Gärdslösa / Oland / Sweden)

Friend In The Desolate Time


Friend, in the desolate time, when your soul is enshrouded in darkness
When, in a deep abyss, memory and feeling die out,
Intellect timidly gropes among shadowy forms and illusions
Heart can no longer sigh, eye is unable to weep;
When, from your night-clouded soul the wings of fire have fallen
And you, to nothing, afraid, feel yourself sinking once more,
Say, who rescues you then?—Who is the comforting angel
Brings to your innermost soul order and beauty again,
Building once more your fragmented world, restoring the fallen
Altar, and when it is raised, lighting the sacred flame?-—
None but the powerful being who first from the limitless darkness
Kissed to life seraphs and woke numberless suns to their dance.
None but the holy Word who called the worlds into existence
And in whose power the worlds move on their paths to this day.
Therefore, rejoice, oh friend, and sing in the darkness of sorrow:
Night is the mother of day, Chaos the neighbor of God.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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