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.

Erik Johan Stagnelius

Translated from the Swedish by Bill Coyle

Articles by Bill Coyle

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