Sopor Aeternus: Songs From The Inverted Womb (2000)

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Perhaps this is the saddest story, full of pain and hurt,
Because of all the names and phrases of this mortal world,
There is only one that I hate more than any other,
And this most disgusting term is the one of "Mother".

Maybe this is the saddest story, full of pain and hurt,
Because of all the names and phrases of this mortal world,
There is only one that I fear more than any other,
And this most terrifying term is the one of "Mother".

Perhaps this is the saddest story, full of pain and hurt,
Because of all the names and phrases of this mortal world,
There is only one that I hate more than any other,
And this most disgusting term is the one of "Mother".


Tales From The Inverted Womb

Alas, let me tell you about the beauty of the tomb:
The stained glass, all violet, enhancing the gloom.
Dark flowers, all withered, fragile and old,
Yet their perfume still lingers like a secret untold.
Like a dream, or a memory that floats in this vault,
Waiting for the moment it shall be recalled
By some visitor, maybe, who is seeking release
From a strange kind of sadness, some unknown disease.
Its symptoms are madness, caused by the music in his head,
Sung by an endless choir called "the Voices of the Dead".

It's his longing for silence, for the absence of sound,
That will lead him the hidden path below the ground.
Where he shall discover, through terror and through fear,
Behind black iron doors... something is sleeping here:
A little dead baby, a young boy lies kept,
As all fragile and frightened, crippled and sad...


Do You Know About The Water Of Life?

In my subterranean tower
It was "love" that has brought me here, -
There are no numbers, but one and eleven,
And an uncertain feeling of the presence of three.

Built brick by brick and fear by fear...
Oh, everything's inverted here.
These walls have eyes, these vaults have ears
And there's no hiding from the tears...


I am dressed in the monster's skin -
Behold the cruellest mockery:
Erection, fur and a cloak of shame...
My beauty is too disgusting...
Oh, please, don't look at me.

He is dressed in the monster's skin -
Behold the cruellest mockery:
Erection, fur and a cloak of shame...
His beauty is too disgusting...
Please, don't look at him.


Built brick by brick and fear by fear...
Oh, everything's inverted here.
These walls have eyes, these vaults have ears
And there's no hiding from the tears...


Like Cronos I rigidly serve an illusion...
I attempted to unman Uranus last night,
Swallowing handfuls of my prophetic children,
In terror I'm fearing the passing of time.

Built brick by brick and fear by fear...
Oh, everything's inverted here.
These walls have eyes, these vaults have ears
And there's no hiding from the tears...


...And in the silence that followed I learned to speak
The secret language of denial and fear,
Seemingly gentle for its absence of voices,
But it's merely a shroud for a deafening scream.

Built brick by brick and fear by fear...
Oh, everything's inverted here.
These walls have eyes, these vaults have ears
And there's no hiding from the tears...



...And Bringer Of Sadness

Oh Saturn, come, devour me,
Save in your Darkness I long to sleep.
I'll make my heart a sword of steel,
I will not doubt, will never feel.
All petrified I shall not fear...
(...though petrified I'm breathing fear).
Oh, Saturn, come, devour me,
Save in your Darkness all shall be sealed!


Résumé

Over there that little mountain rises
While some others dissolve into a plain,
Time redefines itself
And falls in sadness grain by grain...

"Time, my dear, heals all the wounds",
The two-tongued echoes seem to say,
But nothing, nothing changes here,
This pain remains and will not go away...

I went weak as I grew old,
And time itself has made me slow,
And as I close my eyes in sadness,
A thousand seasons come and go...

Mighty enough to cover all
And also cruel enough to reveal,
But all the wounds and scars he carries
Neither force nor kiss can ever heal...

Time heals nothing, nothing, nothing,
Spitefully turns away and laughs,
Leaves you half-broken and in defiance,
Is only added another scar...

Time heals nothing, nothing, nothing,
Spitefully turns away and laughs,
Leaves you half-broken and in defiance,
Is only added another scar...


Call it "blind" how he is writhing,
Counting hours, centuries...
The pain, it glows and grows in tides,
Unable to vanish, unwilling to cease...

Time heals nothing, nothing
Pushes 'till we're diving into different flesh.
Time heals nothing, nothing,
Petrified within some unnameable shame...

Time's fingers claw, I'm losing hold...
They say: "There is no hope for you on earth."
Time either still or maybe rushing...
"In any case it will always turn out worse..."

Time is fleeting, time stands still...
"It stops for no one and you're trapped within."
But I do dream of the light...
"You're only falling back to the left-hand side..."

[Résumé:]

How I wish that I was dead
And rest in final peace,
But even the luxury of death
Can't cure the wounds
That time cannot heal...


Totes Kind / Little Dead Boy

Gestern zählt' ich noch keine sieben,
Doch heut' bin ich schon tausend Jahr',
Und scheint mein Leib auch gleich geblieben,
Ist meine Seel' doch dem Tod so nah'.

Wo vormals bunte Blumen waren,
Wetteifernd in Wuchs und Farbenpracht,
Hat meine Welt ihr Licht verloren
Und geht zugrund'... in ew'ger Nacht.

Hungernd nach Sinn und bettelnd um Stille,
Lieg' angstvoll träumend im Dunkeln ich wach,
Mit der Scham sich verbündend,
Lähmt Schuld meinen Willen...
Und alsbald werd' ich selbst zum Sterben zu schwach.

Dies gleicht der Verdammnis, dem ewigen Leid,
Wenn alles nur schmerzvoll und elend erscheint!

Dies gleicht der Verdammnis, dem ewigen Leid,
Wenn alles nur mehr schmerzvoll und elend erscheint!


May I Kiss Your Wound?

May I kiss you wound?
Maybe that will heal my soul.
Free me from this tomb,
Light my darkness, make me whole.

Let me take your hand
And together we shall fly
To a lonely place
Where as lovers we can die.

In a land so dark, of seven moons,
Eternal night, with a sky of thousand stars,
Yet for us there is no light...
There waits no light...


Saturn Devouring His Children

We know the secret reason,
The reason for his parricide,
The silent and illusive try
To stop the fleeting hands of time.
A strategy that will always be
But a hopeless venture, bound to fail
And all he ever does achieve
Is a twisted kind of burial,
Which he had never thought to yield...
As something further lies concealed.

Burying the children in a hurry,
Secretly within the tomb,
In a gentle safety of his own belly,
Where, soundly asleep, they'll be waiting
For the time of their delivery...
And exactly that's the irony!
Something that he had never thought to yield...
As something further lies concealed.

Fear - this is the secret name,
Driving force and motivation
For his attempt to stop the wheel...
Yes, something further lies concealed.
We truly know the secret reason,
Yes, something further lies concealed,
The dreadful murder, a sad illusion...
Now something else shall be revealed:
I, your child, bury myself
Within your body eagerly,
Forbidden taste, never admitted,
Driven by the ghouls of fear.
Refuge for unspoken longings,
We are not quite ready for this world...
In silent slumber of a darker safety...
Into my mother's womb I want to return.


There Was A Country By The Sea

There was a country by the sea,
But I cannot say for certain,
Whether it was part of a lonely isle,
Or merely some coastal region.
A landing stage of rotten blanks
Stretched carefully into the waves,
And for one moment I did wonder,
What frightening purpose it might serve.

O, heavy, roaring, endless seas,
What secrets does this rage entomb?
Have ancient memories or hungry ghosts,
Gathered all their strength to call for this storm?

Deep-seated gardens, almost a labyrinth,
Walled in by ruins and rocks ivy-clad,
Perhaps this strange place had once been a palace,
Where now violet bushes bear dark thorns instead.
A young boy was taking me by the hand
And unerringly he was leading me down below the gardens,
Which I hardly remembered,
The moment I took the first step underground.

We came to a room with only small windows,
And to my suprise I could somehow still hear,
Though reduced to a murmur,
Now chant-like and humming,
The once savage voice of the roaring sea.

The boy has built a catacomb,
He's living in a tomb,
Below the ground
Where there's no sound,
He's hiding from the world.

Something resembling an altar was built there,
A secret overshadowed structure and use,
Underneath, in inanimate self-contemplation,
Lay a jet-black mass of coal-like granules.
Yet this dark material had an unearthly lightness,
And when I touched it, to feel what it was,
It did seem to totally ignore my presence...
Without leaving a trace, it came trickling off.
Then out of a sudden from under the barrow
Something appeared unexpectedly:
It was the bones of the little boy's mother,
Which he had placed with greatest care underneath.

The boy has built a catacomb,
He's living in a tomb,
Below the ground
Where there's no sound,
He's hiding from the world.

There must have been something in my look,
'Cause the little boy started to speak,
And to my unvoiced question why he had done this,
He answered these words to me:

"This is the only way I can be save from her,
Only this can guarantee, that she will not rise again,
Because when she does, she's always following me.
There's just no alternative, I cannot escape from her,
Because as soon as I try, she will get up again,
Merely to haunt me...
Oh, believe me, I have tried numerous times!
But here in these vaults I have finally found
Something that works like a seal,
These jet-black granules do keep me from harm,
And her bones can no longer hurt me.
Piled up in a certain, specific form,
All the remains must be covered with it,
Then everything keeps still and for a brief moment
I can pretend, that she does not exist.

Yet all the time I must be on my guards,
'Cause now and then it can happen indeed,
That frequently the earth does tremble and shaken,
And some of the stones are starting to slip.

So, constantly I have to control the barrow,
The jet-black darkness of the coal-like mass,
In order to be there, to repair the damage,
To pile all back safely and to replace..."


The boy has built a catacomb,
He's living in a tomb,
Below the ground
Where there's no sound,
He's hiding from the terrible world.

It took me a while to realise
That we all have secrets and fears...
Is it then a surprise that we close our minds
From the pain that is causing these tears?

The boy has built a catacomb,
He's living in a tomb,
Far below the ground
Where there's no sound,
He's hiding from the terrible world.


Little Velveteen Knight

Infants like phantoms,
Denied and suspected,
Their existence discovered
Always when least expected.
Prepared for the day, the knight,
He just cannot keep
The perfect mask in its place,
When he is falling asleep.

Faces slacken in slumber,
Each rigid muscle relaxes,
Without warning the hidden child
Comes to the surface.
From the deepest darkness,
Some unnameable place,
Of the tower inverted,
Forms a different face;

Climbing upwards with effort,
To see through the eyes...
Windows to the soul - now shut -
They are staring inside.
And while the outside beholder
Sees the face of a child,
This fearful and helpless infant
Turns to a wild beast inside:
Becomes the architect
Of the most terrible dreams
And puts a cruel Fear of Death
Into our hero's sleep...
This child is a dragon,
Who you must strive to kill,
Though it defeated you once...
And, yes, it always will!

Oh, little velveteen knight
(And heroes of all kinds),
Endeavour to slay the dragon...
(...and yourselves when you try)!
Yes, this monster's immortal...
And your fight is in vain,
It only will last forever:
Some monsters cannot be slain.

This infant's a beast and
The dragon's its guardian,
Protecting his child,
So that no one can harm it.
Their most gruesome shape
Puts the Fear of Death
Into our supposed
(But velveteen) hero...

* * *

...Yet you must get me right:
There is no choice for the child,
Its intentions are good and always upright.
Tell me, why do you frown?
Do you bare questions... or doubt?
Have you not recognised
That the dragon and the child,
Are in fact more than kin...
They represent the same thing!
And all our characters
That you will see or seem
Are merely part of the dreamer...
And therefore the dream.


Eldorado [1]

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old -
This knight so bold -
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow -
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be -
This land of Eldorado?"

"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied -
"If you seek for Eldorado!"


      [1] стихотворение "Eldorado" Эдгара Аллана По.