translated by David Constantine.
When imagination in poetry looms into universe dimension. Here Greek mythology enters Hölderlin's poetry and resides with supreme grandeur carrying Gottheit characters.
'When I was a boy'
When I was a boy
A god often rescued me
From the shouts and the rods of men
And I played among trees and flowers
Secure in their kindness
And the breezes of heaven
Were playing there too.
And as you delight
The hearts of plants
When they stretch towards you
With little strength
So you delighted the heart in me
Father Helios, and like Endymion
I was your favourite,
Moon. 0 all
And faithful gods
I wish you could know
How my soul has loved you.
Even though when I called to you then
It was not yet with names, and you
Never named me as people do
As though they knew one another
I knew you better
Than I have ever known them.
I understood the stillness above the sky
But never the words of men.
Trees were my teachers
And I learned to love
I grew up in the arms of the gods.