“Der Abend” – Caspar David Friedrich, 1820-21.
Sehnsucht nach der Waldgegend
Would that I had never left you,
woodlands, lofty and wondrous!
You held me lovingly in your embrace
for many a long, long year.
Where, in your twilit spots,
there was birdsong and silver streams,
there also sprang up many songs
from my bosom, fresh and bright.
Your surging, your echoes,
your never-tiring whispering,
your melodies all
awoke song in my breast.
Here in these wide meadows
everything is desolate and mute to me,
and I gaze up into the blue sky,
looking for shapes in the clouds.
While you compelled song from my breast,
it seldom stirs now,
just as the bird sings only a half song
when parted from tree and leaf.