Emanuel von Geibel
On the top of the garden wall
there quivers a single last vine,
just as in my mind there quivers
painfully a single thought.
I can hardly catch it,
but it will not leave me alone,
alas, not even for one second.
And so I contemplate it, and endure
all the nights and days,
and with me always is the hollow lament,
that you are lost to me.
I wander through the quiet night;
the moon floats so secretly and gently,
often out from a dark cover of clouds.
And here and there in the valley
a nightingale awakens
but then all is gray and still again.
O wonderful nightsong
from distant parts - the rushing of a stream
and the soft shuddering in the dark trees
confuse my thoughts.
My clamorous singing here
is only like a cry from my dreams.
My singing is a cry,
only a cry from my dreams.
Night is like a quiet sea:
joy and sorrow and the laments of love
become tangled up
in the gentle throbbing of the waves.
Desires are like clouds
that sail through the quiet space:
who can recognize in the mild wind
whether they are thoughts or dreams?
Even if my heart and mouth now are closed,
that once so easily lamented to the stars,
still, at the bottom of my heart
there remains the gentle throbbing of those waves.