Steeped in a golden evening glow,
how solemnly the forests stand!
In gentle voices the little birds breathe
into the soft fluttering of evening breezes.
What does the wind whisper, and the little birds?
They whisper the world into slumber.
You, my desires, that stir
in my heart without rest or peace!
You longings that move my heart,
When will you rest, when will you sleep?
By the whispering of the wind, and of the little birds?
You yearning desires, when will you fall asleep?
What will come of these dreamy flights?
What stirs me so anxiously, so sweetly?
It comes pulling me from far-off hills,
It comes from the trembling gold of the sun.
The wind whispers loudly, as do the little birds;
The longing, the longing - it will not fall asleep.
Alas, when no longer into the golden distance
does my spirit hurry on dream-wings,
when no more on the eternally distant stars
does my longing gaze rest;
Then the wind and the little birds
will whisper away my longing, along with my life.
Ah, from this valley's grounds
that cold mists are pressing,
if I could only find a way out,
ah, how lucky I would feel!
Over there I glimpse pretty hills,
ever young and ever green!
If I had flight, if I had wings,
I would float over to those hills.
Harmonies I hear tinkling,
tones of sweet, heavenly peace;
and light winds bring
to me the scent of balsam.
Golden fruit I see glowing,
beckoning between dark leaves;
and the flowers that bloom there,
will never become Winter's prey.
Ah, how fine it must be to wander
there in eternal sunshine,
and the air on those heights -
O how refreshing it must be!
Yet I am stymied by the charging river,
that roars between us in rage;
its waves are so high
that my soul is horrified.
I see a small boat rocking there,
but ah! the ferryman is missing.
Go briskly to it and without hesitation:
his sails are ready.
You must believe, you must dare it,
for the Gods make no pledges.
Only a miracle can carry you
into that fair land of wonder.
The stars were shining with golden light
as I stood alone by the window
and listened to the distant sound
of the posthorn in the still countryside.
My heart became inflamed in my body,
and I thought secretly to myself:
Ah, if only I could journey with them
into that magnificent summer night!
Two young men were walking
past on the slope of the mountain,
and I heard them singing as they walked along
in the quiet area:
of vertiginous, rocky gullies
where the woods rustle so gently;
of springs that rush out from the clefts
into the night of the woods.
They sang of marble statues,
of gardens that grew wild upon stones
in dusky groves;
of palaces in the moonlight
where maidens listen by the windows
when the strum of lutes awakens them;
and of fountains murmuring sleepily
in the magnificent summer night.