only task. That is why it is their duty and obligation to remain in relation to those higher mediators. Now that day breaks, the “load of logs” is not lessened, but rather intensified to the point of hardly being bear able . Even if the immediate is never perceived immediately, it is still necessary to grasp the mediating ray “with our own hands ,” and to endure the “storms ” of the primordial that opens. In the knowledge of what thus obligates them , the poets belong together. “We poets”—they are those unique an d future on es, of whom Hölderlin himself, as the first, foretells all that is to b e said. These poets are capable of the task th at has been entrusted to them when the grasping and offering of their hands is permeated by a “pure heart.” “Heart” is that wherein the unique essence of these poets gathers itself: the quietness of their belonging within the embrace of the holy. For Hölderlin, “pure” always means the same as “original” —that is, decisively remaining in a primordial determination. This is characteristic of children. The “pure heart” is not meant here in a “moralistic” sense. The phrase indicates a way of relating, a manner of correspondence to “all-present” nature. If the poet s [72] remain within the all -presence of this powerful and beautiful “nature,” this excludes any possibility of their merely boasting about what is their own, and of their mis-measuring what the law is. Their hands are “innocent.” Their supreme decisiveness, poetic saying, then appears as the “most innocent of all occupations.”

In terms of content, line 62 concludes the seventh stanza, but also according to the number of lines chosen for the stanzas. The comma that Hellingrath and Zinkernagel placed after the word “hands” at the end of line 62 does not appear in the original manuscript. With line 63, a thought begins that returns to the saying of the holy and introduces the consummation of the poem. That is why in the present text, a period has been placed at the end of line 62, which Hölderlin has left without a punctuation mark. The seventh stanza treats of two matters: The poets give the gift of the song, mediated by a “heavenly one,” to the sons of the earth; the poets themselves, however, are placed beneath “God’s thunder storms.” But this poem as a whole cannot close with the naming of the sons of the earth and the poets. For what this poem, in its completion, is actually task ed with saying is what the poem itself says in the third stanza, which sustains everything else:

But now day breaks! I awaited and saw it come,
And what I saw, the holy be my word.

The final word of this poem must return to the holy. The poem speaks of the poets and of the gift of the song only because the holy is the terror of