Eichendorff: “The Nun and the Knight”

By Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff (1788-1857), “Die Nonne und der Ritter”, from Gedichte (Ausgabe 1841), in Romanzen.
Set by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), “Die Nonne und der Ritter”, op. 28 (Vier Duette) no. 1 (1860).Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

Die Nonne und der Ritter

As the world goes to rest,
my yearning awakens with the stars;
I must listen in the cool
as the waves roar below!
"I am brought here from far away by waves
that beat so mournfully against the land,
beneath the bars of your window.
Lady, do you still know this Knight?"
It is as if strange voices
are floating through the mild air;
once again the wind has taken them away, -
alas, my heart is so anxious!
"Over there lies your ruined castle
lamenting in its desolate halls;
the way the woods greeted me,
I felt as though I must die."
Old sounds burst forth,
sunk long since in time;
melancholy falls on me once again,
and I feel like weeping from my heart.
"Over the wood lightning flashes from afar,
where they are fighting over the grave of Christ;
There will I steer my ship,
and there will everything end!"
A ship leaves with a man upon it;
false night, you bewilder the mind!
Farewell, world! May God protect
those who wander madly in darkness!