George Seferis-Collected Poems

Mycenae

Give me your hands, give me your hands, give me your hands.

I have seen in the night

the pointing peak of the mountain

I have seen the far side of the plain flooded

with the light of the hiding moon

I have seen, turning my head

the black stones rounded up

and my life like a taut chord

beginning and end

the ultimate moment:

my hands.

Whoever carries the heavy rocks sinks

I have carried these rocks as long as I endured

I have loved these rocks as long as I endured

these rocks, my fate.

Wounded by my own soil

tortured by my own shirt

condemned by my own gods

these rocks.

I know that they don’t know, but I

who have followed the path

from the killer to the victim many a time

from the victim to punishment

from punishment to the next killing,

groping

the inexhaustible power

that night of my return

when the Furies started whistling

on the scarce grass

I saw snakes crossed with vipers

meshed over the evil generation

our fate.

Voices coming out of the rocks out of sleep

even deeper here where the world darkens

memory of anguish rooted in the rhythm

that stomped the earth by feet

forgotten.

Bodies sunk in the foundations

of the other time, naked Eyes

fixated, fixated, to a sign

that no matter how you try, you can’t make out

the soul

that struggles to become your soul.

Not even silence is yours anymore

here where the mill stones have stopped turning

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