A Silver Dhunn (English translated)


I went up to Silver Dhunn
The train goes by like a voice that one wants to stifle
A snowy owl blackens the dense fogs
Anxious fumes escape from the rusty rails

I went up to Silver Dhunn
I put the scorpion on the pink marble table
A soldier before me
Looks out the window at the golden sky

« I’m going to get my girl,
Shouted his eyes to me with a cold flutter of lashes;
I was deciphering hieroglyphics
I didn’t want to argue;

« I’m going to get my fiancée
I’m taking her to Ellendonan
To the castle of my ancestors
I will cut the fords of time

An unhappy cloud darkened
The reverse side of his words; they caught fire
I resisted the bewitching urge
To change places at once

I went down to An Gearr Loch
Here the sea hems in the mist
He walked me down the pier
His arm was around my waist.

My blue book, will I see it again
The hieroglyphics, the crumpled paper
Have I forgotten it on the beach, on the pier? –
The clouds of Scotland are writhing with laughter.


The window let in a golden veil
In the corridor with haunted paintings
My sister, you saw me grow up
What do I need of a young wife?

I only loved the fields of my country
I only hoped for the sweet perfume of the night
But today I wring my neck
And I board the train for London

The traveler has the blondness of the snowy owl
Her voice has the sweetness of freshly cut lilies
I think she blushes when I look at her
I’ll take her hand at the next station

We’ll escape the noise of the cities
My bride, the guns; her hand in mine,
War is a cloud that approaches like a wolf
And love is disemboweling my honor

The train diluted in the Scottish night
We chat, our eyes come alive
I am cold; the weather is against me
I’m afraid to lose her forever – so I stole her book

In the evening her grey figure evaporates
The poplars brush against my white tears
There’s a demon in this silence without her;
I’m going to die in the war, it’s my destiny

Death is a stubborn sentry
Who would like to desert, but is chained
To the gallows of time and the future;
War is the child of silence


It is ten years now
That I returned from the fields of horror
My hands have trodden rivers of blood
Climbed to the heights of flesh and fear

It’s been ten years, ten years now
I married my beautiful bride
There was a figure, the train was crowded
But – what did her face look like?

All I have left from my youth
Only drawings on crumpled paper
They bewitch my present
His stolen book – I know it by heart

I became a teacher
My wife is expecting our third child
The sun splashes on our garden
And her blue book starts to tear

I am an Egyptologist, I travel the world
To find the scent of her almond eyes
But the light of love is fading and death stalks me
I will never see the Silver Dhunn’s woman again

Sitting in my velvet chair I know what I owe her
I’ve searched all these years for her bright eyes
Learning the language she spoke
I have beheaded the dim hours of her absence

Under my blood flows a river of regret
The purity of time and a volcano of rage
I loved her one summer evening,
On a clear night in Silver Dhunn

The night offered us its bed of stars
And I masked the light of my love for her
By reviving magical characters
Every time I walked a mile of Egypt.

She was up in Silver Dhunn…

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