Oh where are you going
W.H. Auden (1907-73)
Oh where are you going"O where are you going?" said reader to rider, "That valley is fatal where furnaces burn, Yonder's the midden whose odours will madden, That gap is the grave where the tall return." "O do you imagine," said fearer to farer, "That dusk will delay on your path to the pass, Your diligent looking discover the lacking, Your footsteps feel from granite to grass?" "O what was that bird," said horror to hearer, "Did you see that shape in the twisted trees? Behind you swiftly the figure comes softly, The spot on your skin is a shocking disease." "Out of this house"---said rider to reader, "Yours never will"---said farer to fearer "They're looking for you"---said hearer to horror, As he left them there, as he left them there.
Auden ipse scripsisic equiti loquitur lector: ‘quo vadere velles? ~~vallis enim vivis ignibus illa necat. est fimus, infesti qua te furiabit odores; ~~in spatio tumulus, qua redit altus, hiat.’ sic pavidus: ‘peregrine’ inquit ‘cito faucibus instans! ~~num tentant tenebrae mox moderare moras? num vigil invenies vacui vestigia visu? ~~num, si stant lapides, mulserit herba pedes?’ ‘qualis avis fuit, auditor?’ modo dixerat horror: ~~‘arboribus tortis nonne patebat avis? te sequitur pede pernici furtiva figura; ~~in cute gutta tua desidet, atra lues.’ lectori sed eques: ‘proficiscere, tecta relinquas.’ ~~‘nec tibi pes...’ pavido sic peregrinus ait. auditor: ‘peteris!’ petiturque, ut dixerat, horror. ~~ille ibi liquit eos, ille ibi liquit eos.
Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès