The stranger's path leads through the "ghostly years" whose days are everywhere turned toward the beginning and are ruled, set right, from there. The year of his soul is gathered into rightness.

O how righteous Elis, are all your days

sings the poem "Elis" (92). This call is merely the echo of the other call, heard before:

O Elis, how long you have been dead.

The earliness into which the stranger has expired shelters the essential rightness of the unborn. This earliness is a time of its own kind, the time of the "ghostly years." To one of his poems, Trakl gave the plain title "Year" (164). It begins: "Dark stillness of childhood." The counterpart to that dark stillness is the brighter earliness-brighter because it is an even stiller and therefore other childhood-into which the departed has gone under. The last line of the same poem calls this stiller childhood the beginning:

Golden eye of the beginning, dark patience of the end.

Here, the end is not the sequel and fading echo of the beginning. The end-being the end of the decaying kind-precedes the beginning of the unborn kind. But the beginning, the earlier earliness, has already overtaken the end.

That earliness preserves the original nature—a nature so far still veiled—of time. This nature will go on being impenetrable to the dominant mode of thinking as long as the Aristotelian concept of time, still standard everywhere, retains its currency. According to this concept, time—whether conceived mechanically or dynamically or in terms of atomic decay—is the dimension of the quantitative or qualitative calculation of duration as a sequential progression.

True time, however, is the arrival of that which has been. This is not what is past, but rather the gathering of essential being, which precedes all arrival in gathering itself into the

Martin Heidegger (GA 12) Language in the Poem - On the Way to Language