Category Archives: Christian Graf zu Stolberg

Christian Graf zu Stolberg: “To My Brother”

This poet was born on the 15th of October, 1748, at Hamburg. He studied at Göttingen, and was afterwards made a gentleman of the bed-chamber at the Danish court. In 1777, he was appointed Amtmann, or bailiff, at Tremsbüttel, in Holstein; in 1800, Danish chamberlain. He then retired to his estate, called Windebye, near Eckernförde. He died in 1821. He wrote poems, ballads, tragedies with choruses, hymns, idylls, and translations from the Greek.



Up!  Take thou eagle’s wings, and fly,

My song, and, with thee, fly

My jubilant good-morrow,

To him who is to me

What never mortal was to mortal.


Red gleams already wake,

Announcing the glad day

Which called thee, dear one, into life!

See, how he pranketh in autumnal pomp!

Proud, and in solemnizing act, he comes,

Clipped with the dancing hours, and greeted by

The sun, the moon, and timeous star!

Haste, O fraternal kiss,

That hoverest on my panting lip!

Swift glide on the first beam –

As full of fire, as quick to animals –

To him who is to me

What never mortal was to mortal.


Pillow thee gently on his lips;

Scare not the morning dream,

That moistly clasps the slumbering one

With winding ivy wreaths;

There let thy honey trickle, and my form

Hover before his conscious soul,

Languishing with the sickness of desire,

O, for my presence languishing!

Then suddenly wake him with the throbbing wing

Of Love, and call it loud

In burning words to him:

That he may be to me

What never mortal was to mortal.


My brother!  In my eye

Trembleth the tear of joy;

Than friend, than brother more,

That thou – that thou art e’en,

My heart’s most trusted one!

Say, ever dawned a thought to thee or me,

Whereof the veil thou might’st not lift,

Or I might not partake?

As, through the power miraculous

Of holy Nature, hidden, deep,

The chord of lute, untouched, the singer’s tones

Doth warble tremblingly;

O Mother Nature!  Thus

Our twin souls she attuned

To ever sounding harmony!

Sounding , when the fiery blood

Burns in the bosom juvenile;

Sounding, when down the pallid cheeks

The tears of softened feeling flow.


Ah! Thou what art to me

What never mortal was to mortal!

Inspired and guided by the Muses,

Associates dear, to whom thou saidst,

“Thou art my sister,

And thou my bride!”

(Oft, in the silent night, ye visit us,

Ye Muses! – thou my brother visitest;

And thou, in solitary hall,

Intoxicatest me with joy,

Thy wooer, Goddess dear !)

Ha!  I know them too!

Sister and bride!

Guided by them,

Soar I to thee,

O’er land, and o’er sea, to thee, to thee!

Pours, gushes out to thee

My overflowing heart.


Brother!  To us the lovely lot

Is fallen, our heritage is fair!

But, ah!  Why trickles now the tear

Within the cup of jubilee?

Ah! Wherefore are we now apart,

Today apart?

As for the dew the summer field,

As pants the sun for ocean’s lap,

As strives the vine for shady elm,

O, so strive I, so pant I after thee!

Thou – thou who art to me

What never mortal was to mortal!


Return, thou day of joy,

With blessing big, thy steps

Trickling with milk,

With honey,

And with the blood of the vine!

Come ever with autumnal pomp

Thy temples garlanded!

Ah! So draws nigh at hand to us

Our autumn too!


So it may come, our temples be

With pomp autumnal garlanded;

And with fruits, – O! with fruits,

Ay, laden with imperishable wealth!

Nor find us then, fair day,

As on this day, apart!


O, the fulfilling!  The fulfilling!

Fulfilling of the most intense desire!

Clearly mine eye pervades

The future far; it sees

What golden days the path of life conclude!


Winter at last arrives;

Age friendly and benign

Takes us both by the hand, and leads us –

O joy! Unseparated then!

Best father! And, O thou,

Who borest and who suckled me,

Best mother!

Thither, where ‘mong the trees of life,

Where in celestial bowers,

Under your fig-tree, bowed with fruit,

And warranting repose,

Under your pine, inviting shady joy,

Unchanging blooms,

Eternal spring!



Christian Graf zu Stolberg-Stolberg