Typed Letter Signed W. H. Auden to Stella Musulin with Typescript W. H. Auden "Joseph Weinheber" 1965-03-15
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0001 Die Baronin
0002 Stella Musulin


0007 Osterreich

0008 Wien III
0009 Neulingg. 26/14

0010 W.H. Auden
0011 Berlin-Dahlem
0012 Hubertusbaderstrasse 43
0013 Germany

0015        (I892-I945)

(vl) 0001Reaching my gate a narrow
(vl) 0002Lane from the village
(vl) 0003Passes on into a wood:
(vl) 0004When I walk that way
(vl) 0005It seems becoming to stop
(vl) 0006And look through the fence
(vl) 0007Of your garden where(under
(vl) 0008The circs they had to)
(vl) 0009They buried you like a loved
(vl) 0010Old family dog.

(vl) 0011Categorised enemies
(vl) 0012Twenty years ago,
(vl) 0013Now next-door neighbors,we might
(vl) 0014Have become good friends,
(vl) 0015Sharing a common ambit
(vl) 0016And love of the word,
(vl) 0017Over a golden Kremser
(vl) 0018Had many a long
(vl) 0019Language on syntax,commas,
(vl) 0020Versification.

(vl) 0021Yes,yes,it has to be said:
(vl) 0022Men of great damage
(vl) 0023And malengine took you up.
(vl) 0024Did they,though,ever
(vl) 0025Take you in,who to Goebbels'
(vl) 0026Offer of culture
(vl) 0027Countered In Ruah lassen!?
(vl) 0028But the crowd prefers
(vl) 0029A nasty stink and the young
(vl) 0030Condemn you unread.

(vl) 0031What,had you ever heard of
(vl) 0032Franz Jägerstätter,
(vl) 0033The St.Radegund peasant
(vl) 0034Who said his lonely
(vl) 0035Nein to the Aryan State
(vl) 0036And was beheaded,
(vl) 0037Would your heart,as Austrian,
(vl) 0038As poet,have told you?
(vl) 0039Good care,of course,was taken
(vl) 0040You should hear nothing,

(vl) 0041Be unprepared for a day
(vl) 0042That was bound to come,
(vl) 0043A season of dread and tears
(vl) 0044And dishevelment
(vl) 0045When,transfixed by a nightmare,
(vl) 0046You destroyed yourself.
(vl) 0047Retribution was ever
(vl) 0048A bungler at it:
(vl) 0049Dies alles ist furchtbar,hier
(vl) 0050Nur Schweigen gemäss.(I)

0016                                        (2

(vl) 0051Unmarked by me,unmourned for,
(vl) 0052The hour of your death,
(vl) 0053Unhailed by you the moment
(vl) 0054When,providence-led,
(vl) 0055I first beheld Kirchstetten
(vl) 0056On a pouring wet
(vl) 0057October day in a year
(vl) 0058That changed our Cosmos,
(vl) 0059The annus mirabilis
(vl) 0060When Parity fell.

(vl) 0061Already the realms that lost
(vl) 0062Were properly warm
(vl) 0063And over-eating,their crimes
(vl) 0064The pedestrian
(vl) 0065Private sort,those nuisances,
(vl) 0066Corpses and rubble,
(vl) 0067Long carted away: for their raped
(vl) 0068The shock was fading,
(vl) 0069Their kidnapped physicists felt
(vl) 0070No longer homesick.

(vl) 0071To-day we smile at weddings
(vl) 0072Where bride and bridegroom
(vl) 0073Were both born since the Shadow
(vl) 0074Lifted,or rather
(vl) 0075Moved elsewhere. Never as yet
(vl) 0076Has Earth been without
(vl) 0077Her bad patch,some unplace with
(vl) 0078Jobs for torturers
(vl) 0079(In what bars are they welcome?
(vl) 0080What girls marry them?),

(vl) 0081Or her nutritive surface
(vl) 0082At peace all over.
(vl) 0083No one,so far as we know,
(vl) 0084Has ever been safe,
(vl) 0085And so in secret regions
(vl) 0086Good family men
(vl) 0087Keep eye,devoted as monks,
(vl) 0088On apparatus
(vl) 0089Inside which harmless matter
(vl) 0090Turns homicidal.

(vl) 0091Here,though,I feel as at home
(vl) 0092As you did: the same
(vl) 0093Short-lived creatures re-utter
(vl) 0094The same care-free songs,
(vl) 0095Orchards cling to the regime
(vl) 0096They know,from April's
(vl) 0097Rapid augment of color
(vl) 0098Till boisterous Fall
(vl) 0099When at each stammering gust
(vl) 0100Apples thump the ground.

0017                                                      (3

(vl) 0101               Looking across our valley
(vl) 0102               Where,hidden from view,
(vl) 0103               Sichelbach tottles westward
(vl) 0104               To join the Perschling,
(vl) 0105               Humanely modest in scale
(vl) 0106               And mild in contour,
(vl) 0107               Conscious of grander neighbors
(vl) 0108               To bow to,mountains
(vl) 0109               Soaring behind me,ahead
(vl) 0110               A noble river,

(vl) 0111               I would respect you also,
(vl) 0112               Neighbor and colleague,
(vl) 0113               For even my English ear
(vl) 0114               Gets in your German
(vl) 0115               The workmanship and the note
(vl) 0116               Of one who was graced
(vl) 0117               To hear the viols playing
(vl) 0118               On the impaled green,
(vl) 0119               Committed thereafter den
(vl) 0120               Abgrund zu nennen.(2)

0018                        ___
0019  I) Quotation from W's poem Auf das Unabwendbare.
0020    2) Quotation from W's poem Kammermusik.
0021                         __

0022          Dear Stella:
0023  Kirchstetten is intending to have a ceremony in memory of the twentieth
0024  anniversary of Weinheber's  death
.  Herewith my effort to do my
0025  Gemeindepflicht.

0026                  love

0028 Wystan.

0029 P.S. Expect to return K April 22nd. Do hope you
0030 will be around.