by Karl von Lemcke (1831-1913)
“Auf der Heide saust der Wind”
from Lieder und Gedichte, Hamburg, published 1861
On the heath blows the wind -
Sweet child, sweet child -
do you wish me, despite the storm and horror,
to go out into the night -
do you wish me to go?
On the heath at the top of the mountain
Piles the snow, piles the snow;
It sweeps the street, the gorge and pool alike
with white wings.
Do you wish me to go?
Hark! the sound of the sea
is wild and woeful, wild and woeful!
By the willows sits an evil sprite
and my path goes past that place -
Do you wish me to go?
For here in your arms,
how cosy and warm, cosy and warm;
Ah, how often have I thought:
if only I could have just one night with you...
Do you wish me to go? . . .
Be welcome, hour of twilight!
Long have I loved you above all;
You soothe every wound,
Gently embracing our souls.
Throughout your dusky brightness
In the air, damp with evening dew,
Hover images that the glaring
Light of the noisy day dispells.
Dreams and memories
Approach from childhood times,
Whispering with ghostly tongues
Of past happiness.
And to the comrades of our youthful pleasures
We turn in our father's house;
Arms that once embraced us
Are open wide to us again.
After the long pain of separation,
We may once again
Be with those who have gone hence,
And rest among beloved hearts;
And until upon our eyelids
Slumber gently flows down,
A blessed peace sinks down upon us
From the land where our friends are.
As the world goes to rest,
my yearning awakens with the stars;
I must listen in the cool
as the waves roar below!
"I am brought here from far away by waves
that beat so mournfully against the land,
beneath the bars of your window.
Lady, do you still know this Knight?"
It is as if strange voices
are floating through the mild air;
once again the wind has taken them away, -
alas, my heart is so anxious!
"Over there lies your ruined castle
lamenting in its desolate halls;
the way the woods greeted me,
I felt as though I must die."
Old sounds burst forth,
sunk long since in time;
melancholy falls on me once again,
and I feel like weeping from my heart.
"Over the wood lightning flashes from afar,
where they are fighting over the grave of Christ;
There will I steer my ship,
and there will everything end!"
A ship leaves with a man upon it;
false night, you bewilder the mind!
Farewell, world! May God protect
those who wander madly in darkness!
Rest, my love, in the shade
Of green, darkening night;
The grass rustles on the meadow,
The shadows fan and cool thee
And true love is awake.
Sleep, go to sleep!
Gently rustles the grove,
Eternally am I thine.
Hush, you hidden songs,
And disturb not her sweetest repose!
The flock of birds listens,
Stilled are their noisy songs.
Close thine eyes, my darling,
Sleep, go to sleep;
In the twilight
I will watch over thee.
Murmur on, you melodies,
Rush on, you quiet stream.
Lovely fantasies of love
do these melodies evoke:
Tender dreams swim after them.
Through the whispering grove
Swarm tiny golden bees
which hum thee to sleep.