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.