As he stood there – erect before the Gate and impregnable in his sorrow
Far from the world – where his spirit sought to bring Paradise to his measure – And harder even than stone – for no one had ever looked on him tenderly – at times his crooked teeth whitened strangely
And as he passed by with his gaze a little beyond mankind – and from them all extracted One who smiled on him – the Real One – whom death could never seize
He took care to pronounce the word sea clearly that all the dolphins within it might shine – And the desolation so great it might contain all of God – and every water drop ascending steadfastly toward the sun
As a young man he had seen gold glittering and gleaming on the shoulders of the great – And one night – he remembers – during a great storm the neck of the sea roared so it turned murky – but he would not submit to it
The world's an oppressive place to live through – yet with a little pride it's worth it.
Dear God what now – Who had to battle with thousands – and not only his loneliness – Who? – He who knew with a single word how to slake the thirst of entire worlds – What?
From whom they had taken everything his – And his sandals with their criss-crossed straps and his pointed trident – and the wall he mounted every afternoon like an unruly and pitching boat – to hold the reigns against the weather
And a handful of vervain – which he had rubbed on a girl's cheek – at midnight – to kiss her – (how the waters of the moon gurled on the stone steps three cliff-lengths above the sea...)
Noon out of night – And not one person by his side – Only his faithful words that mingled all their colors to leave in his hand a lance of white light
And opposite – along the whole wall's length – a host of heads poured in plaster as far as his eyes could see
“Noon out of night – all life a radiance!" – he shouted and rushed into the horde – dragging behind him an endless golden line
And at once he felt – the final pallor overmastering him – as it hastened from afar.
Now – as the sun's wheel turned more and more swiftly – the courtyards plunged into winter and once emerged red from the geraniums
And the small cool domes – like blue medusae – reached each time higher to the silverwork the wind so delicately worked as a painting – for other times more distant
Virgin maidens – their breasts glowing a summer dawn – brought him branches of fresh palm leaves – and those of the myrtle uprooted from the depths of the sea
Dripping iodine – While under his feet he heard – the prows of black ships sucked into the great whirlpool – the ancient and smoked seacraft from which still erect with riveted gaze – the Mothers of God stood rebuking
Horses overturned on dumpheaps – a rabble of buildings large and small – debris and dust flaming in the air
And there lying prone – always with an unbroken word between his teeth
the last of the Hellenes!