There are many beautiful places
I love to visit during autumn in Vienna,
but for me none exert greater allure
than the Strudlhof Steps.
When late summer
turns into early fall,
I feel the urge to walk down those steps,
listen to the leaves' gentle rustling,
breath in the essence of life,
the last greeting from summer's gentle heat,
a promise of golden days still ahead.
So I walk along the lane
which leads to the upper landing
and as I begin my descent,
wistful step by wistful step,
I begin to feel a sense of peace and belonging.
At the lower landing of the steps,
I pause, to read this poem,
carved in stone:
On the Strudlhof Steps in Vienna
When the leaves upon the steps are lying
from the old stairs is heard an autumn sighing
of all that's gone across them in the past
A moon in which a couple, holding fast,
embraces, lightweight shoes and heavy footfall
the mossed urn in the middle, by the wall,
outlasts the year between the wars and dying.
So much is past and gone, to our dismay,
And beauty shows the frailest power to stay.
Poem by Heimito von Doderer,
from his novel, "The Strudlhof Steps"
tranlated by Vincent Kling.
Own text and images
Copyright by Merisi