But my friend, we have come too late. True, the gods are still alive
But somewhere high above us, in another world.
There they repeat themselves eternally, and don’t give a damn
If we live or die, so little do they care about us.
For a weak vessel cannot contain them. Only from time to time
Can humans bear the fullness of the gods. And therefore,
The life we know is a dream about them. But confusion
And sleep assist us, sorrow and night make us strong,
And soon heroes enough will emerge from the warlord’s cradle,
With hearts rivaling a god’s in courage.
In the meantime, I believe it is better to sleep than to live
Without friends, waiting without hope, not knowing the right
Thing to say or do -- and what, after all, is the use
Moving from place to place in the sacred night.
An important elegy, the most Dionysian of Hölderlin's work, with Michael Hamburger's translation: