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Friday
Oct282016

Novalis, "Wer einsam sitzt in seiner Kammer"

A work ("Who sits forlorn within his room") by this German poet.  You can read the original here.

Who sits forlorn within his room,
And cries such grave and bitter tears,
So will this region then appear
Besmirched by misery and gloom. 

Who, thinking of times long ago,
Too deep inspects the bleak abyss,
In which from every side persists
Sweet pain that draws him down below,  

It is as if wild treasures lay 
Beneath in heaps for him alone;
And he with breathless breast forayed  
Against their castle ramparts' stone.  

Repulsed and fearful he espies   
His future trapped in dryest dunes; 
Alone, unwell, he roves and swoons, 
And seeks himself in tumult's eye.

I cry and fall into his arms:
I, too, was once like you, it seems.
But I learned much from wicked harm, 
E'en how to find eternal peace.  

You need for comfort, as I too,
A heart that's loved, endured and died; 
Who joyfully put pain aside, 
To perish variedly for you.  

He died, and yet still every day, 
You sense his love, you sense his face; 
Consoled but by thoughts gone astray 
Of him once more in your embrace.   

With him arrives new blood, new life,
In your decaying pile of bone;
And if your heart was his alone, 
So is yours his, bereft of strife.  

What you have loved he will provide;  
What you have lost he since has found: 
Forever will remain so bound, 
What his firm hands choose not to hide.

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