**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!


Translations From Novalis: Spiritual Songs
by [?]

Everywhere, from graves upspringing,
Rises new-born life, new blood!
Endless peace up to us bringing,
Dives he underneath life’s flood;
Stands in midst, with full hands, eyes caressing–
Hardly waits the prayer to grant the blessing.

Let his mild looks of invading
Deep into thy spirit go;
By his blessedness unfading
Thou thy heart possessed shalt know.
Hearts of all men, spirits all, and senses
Mingle, and a new glad dance commences.

Grasp his hands with boldness yearning;
Stamp his face thy heart upon;
Turning toward him, ever turning,
Thou, the flower, must face thy sun.
Who to him his heart’s last fold unfoldeth,
True as wife’s his heart for ever holdeth.

Ours is now that Godhead’s splendour
At whose name we used to quake!
South and north, its breathings tender
Heavenly germs at once awake!
Let us then in God’s full garden labour,
And to every bud and bloom be neighbour!


Who in his chamber sitteth lonely,
And weepeth heavy, bitter tears;
To whom in doleful colours, only
Of want and woe, the world appears;

Who of the Past, gulf-like receding,
Would search with questing eyes the core,
Down into which a sweet woe, pleading,
Wiles him from all sides evermore–

As if a treasure past believing
Lay there below, for him high-piled,
After whose lock, with bosom heaving,
He breathless grasps in longing wild:

He sees the Future, waste and arid,
In hideous length before him stretch;
About he roams, alone and harried,
And seeks himself, poor restless wretch!–

I fall upon his bosom, tearful:
I once, like thee, with woe was wan;
But I grew well, am strong and cheerful,
And know the eternal rest of man.

Thou too must find the one consoler
Who inly loved, endured, and died–
Even for them that wrought his dolour
With thousand-fold rejoicing died.

He died–and yet, fresh each to-morrow,
His love and him thy heart doth hold;
Thou mayst, consoled for every sorrow,
Him in thy arms with ardour fold.

New blood shall from his heart be driven
Through thy dead bones like living wine;
And once thy heart to him is given,
Then is his heart for ever thine.

What thou didst lose, he keeps it for thee;
With him thy lost love thou shalt find;
And what his hand doth once restore thee,
That hand to thee will changeless bind.


Of the thousand hours me meeting,
And with gladsome promise greeting,
One alone hath kept its faith–
One wherein–ah, sorely grieved!–
In my heart I first perceived
Who for us did die the death.

All to dust my world was beaten;
As a worm had through them eaten
Withered in me bud and flower;
All my life had sought or cherished
In the grave had sunk and perished;
Pain sat in my ruined bower.

While I thus, in silence sighing,
Ever wept, on Death still crying,
Still to sad delusions tied,
All at once the night was cloven,
From my grave the stone was hoven,
And my inner doors thrown wide.

Whom I saw, and who the other,
Ask me not, or friend or brother!–
Sight seen once, and evermore!
Lone in all life’s eves and morrows,
This hour only, like my sorrows,
Ever shines my eyes before.


If I him but have,[1]
If he be but mine,
If my heart, hence to the grave,
Ne’er forgets his love divine–
Know I nought of sadness,
Feel I nought but worship, love, and gladness.

[Footnote 1: Here I found the double or feminine rhyme impossible without the loss of the far more precious simplicity of the original, which could be retained only by a literal translation.]