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Translations From Novalis: Spiritual Songs
by [?]

If I him but have,
Pleased from all I part;
Follow, on my pilgrim staff,
None but him, with honest heart;
Leave the rest, nought saying,
On broad, bright, and crowded highways straying.

If I him but have,
Glad to sleep I sink;
From his heart the flood he gave
Shall to mine be food and drink;
And, with sweet compelling,
Mine shall soften, deep throughout it welling.

If I him but have,
Mine the world I hail;
Happy, like a cherub grave
Holding back the Virgin’s veil:
I, deep sunk in gazing,
Hear no more the Earth or its poor praising.

Where I have but him
Is my fatherland;
Every gift a precious gem
Come to me from his own hand!
Brothers long deplored,
Lo, in his disciples, all restored!


My faith to thee I break not,
If all should faithless be,
That gratitude forsake not
The world eternally.
For my sake Death did sting thee
With anguish keen and sore;
Therefore with joy I bring thee
This heart for evermore.

Oft weep I like a river
That thou art dead, and yet
So many of thine thee, Giver
Of life, life-long forget!
By love alone possessed,
Such great things thou hast done!
But thou art dead, O Blessed,
And no one thinks thereon!

Thou stand’st with love unshaken
Ever by every man;
And if by all forsaken,
Art still the faithful one.
Such love must win the wrestle;
At last thy love they’ll see,
Weep bitterly, and nestle
Like children to thy knee.

Thou with thy love hast found me!
O do not let me go!
Keep me where thou hast bound me
Till one with thee I grow.
My brothers yet will waken,
One look to heaven will dart–
Then sink down, love-o’ertaken,
And fall upon thy heart.



Few understand
The mystery of Love,
Know insatiableness,
And thirst eternal.
Of the Last Supper
The divine meaning
Is to the earthly senses a riddle;
But he that ever
From warm, beloved lips,
Drew breath of life;
In whom the holy glow
Ever melted the heart in trembling waves;
Whose eye ever opened so
As to fathom
The bottomless deeps of heaven–
Will eat of his body
And drink of his blood
Who of the earthly body
Has divined the lofty sense?
Who can say
That he understands the blood?
One day all is body,
One body:
In heavenly blood
Swims the blissful two.

Oh that the ocean
Were even now flushing!
And in odorous flesh
The rock were upswelling!
Never endeth the sweet repast;
Never doth Love satisfy itself;
Never close enough, never enough its own,
Can it have the beloved!
By ever tenderer lips
Transformed, the Partaken
Goes deeper, grows nearer.
Pleasure more ardent
Thrills through the soul;
Thirstier and hungrier
Becomes the heart;
And so endureth Love’s delight
From everlasting to everlasting.
Had the refraining
Tasted but once,
All had they left
To set themselves down with us
To the table of longing
Which will never be bare;
Then had they known Love’s
Infinite fullness,
And commended the sustenance
Of body and blood.


Weep I must–my heart runs over:
Would he once himself discover–
If but once, from far away!
Holy sorrow! still prevailing
Is my weeping, is my wailing:
Would that I were turned to clay!