Category Archives: Hölderlin


Friedrich Hölderlin: “The God of Youth”

“The Poetry of Germany, Consisting from Upwards of Seventy of the Most Celebrated Poets.”  Translated into English Verse by Alfred Baskerville.  1853.

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The God of Youth

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Should in the twilight’s shadows,

When on a summer’s night,

Thy loving eye is watching,

For visions fair and bright,

The manes of friends flit by me,

And, like the starry skies,

The spirits of the Titans

Of ancient days arise.

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Should of love’s restless longing

Within thy breast subside,

Where, wrapt in beauty’s mantle,

The godlike loves to hide,

And should the heart’s endeavour

In peace reap its award,

And should with tuneful accents,

Resound the soul’s accord;

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Seek in the stillest valley

The flowers’ richest shrine,

And pour from golden goblet

The glad libation wine!

Still smiles in verdant freshness

The heart’s sweet spring in thee,

The God of Youth still ruleth

O’er thee, as over me.

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And when the bard sat musing

In Tibur’s shady grot,

And, wrapt in dreams of Heaven,

The flight of time forgot;

When waving elms refreshed him,

When proudly there below,

Played round the silver blossoms

The waves of Anio;

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And as in Plato’s bowers,

When through the bosquet’s green,

By nightingale’s saluted,

The star of love was seen;

When all the zephyrs slumbered

And, rippled by the swan,

Cephisus through the olives

And myrtle-bushes ran;

’Tis still on earth as lovely!

Our bosom, too, o’er flows

With blessings of kind Nature,

Her life, peace, and repose;

Still bloometh Heaven’s beauty,

Still in our bosoms ring,

Commingled and fraternal,

The peaceful tones of Spring.

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Hence in the stillest valley

Seek the most perfum’d shrine,

And pour from golden goblet

The glad libation wine.

Still smiles in verdant freshness

Earth’s image upon thee,

The God of Youth still ruleth,

O’er thee, as over me.

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Hölderlin: “Evening Phantasie”

Abendphantasie

by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843)
Translator: Charles Warton Stork
Before his hut reposes in restful shade,
The ploughman; wreaths of smoke from his hearth ascend.
And sweet to wanderers comes the tone of
Evening bells from the peaceful village.
The sailor too puts into the haven now,
In distant cities cheerily dies away
The busy tumult; in the arbor
Gleams the festal repast of friendship.
But whither I? In labor, for slight reward,
We mortals live, in alternate rest and toil
Contentment dwells; but why then sleeps not
Hid in my bosom the thorn unsparing?
The evening heaven blooms as with springtime’s hue;
Uncounted bloom the roses, the golden world
Seems wrapt in peace; oh, bear me thither.
Purple-wrought clouds! And may for me there
Both love and grief dissolve in the joyous light!
But see, as if dispelled by the foolish prayer,
The wonder fades! ‘Tis dark, and lonely
Under the heaven I stand as erstwhile.
Come then to me, soft Sleep. Overmuch requires
The heart; and yet thou too at the last shalt fade,
Oh youth, thou restless dream-pursuer!
Peaceful and happy shall age then follow.

 

Hölderlin

Hölderlin