The hour of the victim

Edith Södergran: The Rose Altar

Hear the bell toll.

It’s the hour of the victim.

The bell tolls.

What more must you sacrifice?

You’ve been lying on the sacrificial table

for many years.

Even lying on a sacrificial table

is no pain.

What more must you sacrifice?

You love still, you love still,

say no more.


You gave away all the Earth,

you learned to follow the Heaven’s ways.

In your hand the rose is dead,

the wind doesn’t touch your cheek.

Who are you still sacrificing?

When the hour tolls

you must answer:

then you’ll make your choice

with life and death as witnesses.