Sehnsucht


In dieser Winterfruehe
Wie ist mir doch zumut!
O Morgenrot, ich gluehe
Von deinem Jugendblut.

Es glueht der alte Felsen,
Und Wald und Burg zumal,
Berauschte Nebel waelzen
Sich jaeh hinab das Tal.

Mit tatenfroher Eile
Erhebt sich Geist und Sinn,
Und fluegelt goldne Pfeile
Durch alle Ferne hin.

Auf Zinnen moecht ich springen,
In alter Fuersten Schloss,
Moecht hohe Lieder singen,
Mich schwingen auf das Ross!

Und stolzen Siegeswagen
Stuerzt’ ich mich brausend nach!
Die Harfe wird zerschlagen,
Die nur von Liebe sprach.

— Wie? schwaermst du so vermessen,
Herz, hast du nicht bedacht,
Hast du mit eins vergessen,
Was dich so trunken macht?

Ach, wohl! was aus mir singet,
Ist nur der Liebe Glueck!
Die wirren Toene schlinget
Sie sanft in sich zurueck.

Was hilft, was hilft mein Sehnen?
Geliebte, waerst du hier!
In tausend Freudetraenen
Verging' die Erde mir.


Eduard Moerike 1830


Longing


On this early winter morning
What eagerness I now feel!
O morning dawn, I glow inside
With all your youthful warmth.

The bedrock glows beside me
As do castle walls and woods,
And drunken fog does lumber
From off the steepest slopes.

With eagerness for action
Both sense and spirit wake,
Send golden shafted arrows
Far out to distant space.

On pinnacles would I dance
At the castle of the prince,
Would sing his favorite songs,
And mount his favorite horse.

And proud victorious armies
Would I straight away pursue!
And the harp would I destroy,
That spoke of love untrue.

— What? You rave so rashly,
Heart, think clearly what it is,
Did you forget already,
The cause of your own bliss?

Ah, perhaps! What I would sing of
Is but the joy of love!
Love takes all the harsh tones
And softens them for itself.

Of what use, what use my longing?
If only you, Love, were here!
With a thousand tears of rapture
I would quit this earthly sphere.


Translation: Charles L. Cingolani      Copyright © 2013
. . . Mörike is dejected when his relationship with Luise Rau ended sadly after a four year engagement. Soon thereafter Mörike wrote one of his most well known poems entitled "Farewell". . .