The rose altar

Edith Södergran: The Rose Altar

I don’t look like you,

for I am more than you.


I am in the dusk

a temple priestess,

consecrated I guard

the fire of the future

- - - - - - - -

 I step out in front of you

with a message of joy:

The kingdom of God begins.


Not Christ’s

vastness, wasting away,

no, higher, lighter

human figures

approach the altar

to give thanks,

with a smell of heaven

and stupidity.


There is the altar –

like a sigh from God’s breast –

crown it with roses

so that you see a mountain of beauty.

Lightly shall

the spirit of the hour sit

and drink

the toast to the hour

out of fine, golden glasses.