The Dead Church - Poem by Georg Trakl
On dark benches they sit packed
And lift extinguished looks
To the cross. The lights gleam as if covered,
And cloudy and as if covered the head of wounds.
The incense rises from a golden vessel
To the height, dying songs
Exhale, and as if afflicted the room dusks
Uncertainly and sweet. The priest strides
Before the altar; but, he practices the pious rites
With tired spirit - a miserable player
Before bad prayers with numb hearts,
In soulless play with bread and wine.
The bell sounds! The lights flicker more cloudily -
And paler, as if covered the head of wounds!
The organ hisses! In dead hearts memory
shudders on! A bleeding countenance of pain
Wraps itself in darkness and the despair
Stares after him in the emptiness from many eyes.
And one who sounded like all voices,
Sobs - meanwhile the horror grew in the room,
The death-horror grew: Have mercy on us -
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