from When I Was a Boy
By Friedrich Holderlin
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
....you delighted the heart in me
Father Helios, and like Endymion
I was your favourite,
Moon. O 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.
--Translated by David Constantine