Flickering dances above the urn,
Remember, my son. Remember the vanished
Who planted their conversations like trees.
The garden is dead, more heavy my breathing,
Preserve the hour, here Theophrastus walked.
With oak bark to feed the soil and enrich it,
To bandage with fibre the wounded bole
And olive tree splits the brickwork grown brittle
And still is a voice in the mote-laden heat
Their order was to fell and uproot it,
Your light is fading, defenceless leaves.
Peter Huchel, The Garden of Theophrastus
[Translation by Michael Hamburger]