Anastasius Grün: “Salutation of the Sea”
Excerpt, “Translations From The German Poets.” Edward Stanhope Pearson. 1879..
Salutation of the Sea
Measureless, serene, unending,
Still, but ne’er from boding free
Li’st thou there thy breadth extending
Aged, solemn, boundless Sea!
Say, in tears should be my greeting
Such as well from mourners’ eyes,
When around the grave they’re meeting
One who cold and lifeless lies?
For a churchyard vast and stilly
One capacious vault thou art,
Hidest feelingless and chilly
Many a hope and many a heart.
Not one cross, one gravestone yonder
Marks the spot where buried lie
Thousands – on the strand there wander
Those whose tears are never dry.
Would’st thou have me joyous greeting
Offer, as from him would rise
Whose first glance a garden meeting
Throws him into glad surprise?
For a garden without measure,
And a wealthy field thou art,
Noble buds, and costly treasure
Lie within thy crystal heart.
As a lawn with sunshine flooded
Shows thy surface green and still,
Coral groves with pearl-beds studded
Such the flowers thy depths which fill.
As in gardens wand’rers straying,
Ships across the ocean go
Treasure seeking and conveying,
Meeting, passing to and fro.
Should I weeping, should I shouting,
Ocean to thee raise my voice?
Idle question, useless doubting –
After all I have no choice.
But as highest joy in weeping
Riseth still to thankful eyes,
So the grateful dewdrops steeping
Trees at dawn and sunset rise.
When the Lord of all I’m meeting
And mine eyes in tears upturn,
So in tears once more I’m greeting
Fatherland with thoughts that burn.
Weeping I my arms extended
When I saw my lov’d one near,
Weeping on the heights I bended
When I saw thee first appear.