by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation by Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881)

“Whom bring ye us to the still...
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
“Whom bring ye us to the still dwelling?”
The four Boys replied with lovely voices:
“Tis a tired playmate whom we bring you;
let her rest in your still dwelling, till the songs
of her heavenly sisters once more awaken her.”

Firstling of youth in our circle,
we welcome thee! With sadness welcome thee!
May no boy, no maiden follow!
Let age only, willing and composed,
approach the silent Hall, and in the solemn company,
repose this one dear child!

Ah, reluctantly we brought her hither!
Ah, and she is to remain here!
Let us too remain;
let us weep,
let us weep upon her bier!

Yet look at the strong wings;
look at the light clear robe!
How glitters the golden band upon her head!
Look at the beautiful, the noble repose!

Ah! the wings do not raise her;
in the frolic game, her robe flutters to and fro no more;
when we bound her head with roses,
her looks on us were kind and friendly.

Cast forward the eye of the spirit!
Awake in your souls the imaginative power,
which carries forth, what is fairest, what is highest,
Life, away beyond the stars.

But ah! we find her not here;
in the garden she wanders not;
the flowers of the meadow she plucks no longer.
Let us weep, we are leaving her here!
Let us weep and remain with her!

Children, turn back into life!
Your tears let the fresh air dry,
which plays upon the rushing water.
Fly from Night!
Day and Pleasure and Continuance are the lot of the living.

Up! Turn back into life!
Let the day give us labour and pleasure,
till the evening brings us rest,
and the nightly sleep refreshes us.

Children! Hasten into life!
In the pure garments of beauty,
may Love meet you with heavenly looks
and with the wreath of immortality!

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Based on

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Researcher for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2016-01-04
Line count: 55
Word count: 321