’Tis past midnight. Dark hours prompt forth
The last homebound along the terraced doors.
Alone, in the smokey bar lounge “To the Stars”
propped on the shot and faded counter, lean two.
Him and a lass. And amber waiters – grubby
and groggy – they grumble past the the tables.
A piccolo is wedged up at the end of the room
sat high on a stool and snowed in with sleep.
Only here and there glow bleary bulbs,
through the smoke and dusk the walls dissolve
and slowly from the clock the time drips and drops.
Translation of DIE NACHT by Rainer Maria Rilke