ICH LIEBE DICH ZU TODE (Thriller) (German Edition)
No sooner wiU This race lie down imtil You, promised ones, each single one Of you, immortal beings, to pronounce Your heaven's bounties, have arrived In our house. Fragrant breezes Are your herald. The steaming downs announce you And the ground, still resounding with tempests.
Now the cheek is refreshed with hope And in front of the opened bouse The mother sits with her child. Regarding this utter peace. And fewer seem the agonies. A harbinger has caught the soul, A promise sent, of golden light. Keeping the aged from dying. Well wrought from above are The savors of life. For all is pleasing now, But most of all Simphcity: This, nothing else, is the shape of gods.
You grieved, O Mother, like The Honess when. Nature, You lost your children. Too eagerly loving, you suffered their loss. When robbed of them by a foe Whom you almost took for your own son, A satyr mingling with gods. Thus you did much of your building And buried many a thing. For you are hated by those whom You, powerful beyond time. Had drawn forth into hght. Now you know and, knowing, relax: For gladly rests down below.
So it may ripen, the anxiously caring world. Denn feme kommend haben Hieher, zur Abendstunde, Sich liebende Gaste beschieden. Nichts vor dir, [ Nur Fines weiss ich, Sterbliches bist du nicht. Ein Weiser mag mir manches erhellen; wo aber Ein Gott auch noch erscheint, Da ist doch andere Klarheit.
Das ist, sie horen das Werk, Langst vorbereitend, von Morgen nach Abend, jetzt erst, Denn un- ermesslich brausst, in der Tief e verhallend, Des Donnerers Echo, das tausendjahrige Wetter, Zu schlaf en, iibertont von Friedens- lauten, hinunter. Und manchen mocht' ich laden, aber o du, Der freundlichemst den Menschen zugethan, Dort unter syrischer Pahne, Wo nahe lag die Stadt, am Brunnen geme war; Das Komf eld rauschte rings, still athmete die Kiihlung Vom Schatten des geweihetenGebirges; I Und die lieben Freunde, das treue Gewolk, Umschatteten dich auch, damit der heiligkiihne Durch Wildniss mild dein Straal zu Menschen kam, o JiinglingI Ach' aber dunkler umschattete, mit- ten im Wort, dich I Furchtbarentscheidend ein todtlich Verhang- nis.
So ist schnell Verganglich alles Himmlische; aber umsonst nicht; Denn schonend riihrt des Maases allzeit kundig Nur einen Augenblick die Wohnimgen der Menschen Ein Gott an, imver- selm, und keiner weiss es, wenn? Auch dart alsdann das Freche driiber gehn Und kommen muss zum heilgen Ort das Wilde Von Enden fern, iibt rauhbetastend den Wahn, Und trif t daran ein Schicksal, aber Dank, Nie folgt der gleich hemach dem gott- gegebenen Geschenke; I Tiefpriif end ist es zu f assen. Des Gottlichen aber empfiengen wir Doch viel.
Und es lehret Gestim dich, das Vor Augen dir ist, doch nimnier kannst du ihm gleichen. Denn langst war der zum Herm der Zeit zu gross Und weit aus reichte sein Feld; wann hats ihn aber erschopfet? Einmal mag aber ein Gott auch Tagewerk erwahlen, Gleich sterblichen und theilen alles Schicksal. Schicksalgesetz ist diss, dass alle sich erfahren, Dass, wenn die Stille kehrt, auch eine Sprache sei.
I Wo aber wirkt der Geist, sind auch wir mit, und streiten, Was wohl das Beste sei. So diinkt mir jezt das Beste, Wenn nun vollendet sein Bild und fertig ist der Meister, Und selbst ver- klart davon aus seiner Werkstatt tritt, Der stille Gott der Zeit und nur der Liebe Gesez Das schonausgleichende gilt von hier an bis zum Himmel.
Und das Zeitbild, das der grosse Geist entfaltet, Ein Zeichen liegts vor uns, das zwischen ihm und andem Ein Biindnis zwi- schen ihm und andem Machten ist. Nicht er allein, die Uner- zeugten, Ew'gen Sind kennbar alle daran, gleichwie auch an den Pflanzen Zulezt ist aber doch, ihr heiligen Machte, fiir euch Das Liebeszeichen, das Zeugnis Dass ihrs noch seiet, der Festtag. So hast du manches gebaut, Und manches begraben, Denn es hasst dich, was Du, vor der Zeit Allkraftige, zum Lichte gezogen.
Nun kennest, nun lassest du diss; I Denn gerne fiihllos ruht, Bis dass es reift, furchtsam- geschaftiges drunten. What here we are, far oflF a god amends With harmonies, everlasting recompense, and peace. For a while, especially during his sojourn in Jena, he was subjected to Schiller's influence. In Leipzig he met Friedrich Schlegel and became deeply attached to him and his new ideas. After his graduation from the Wit- tenberg law school , he moved to Tennstedt, in Thuringia, to train for a pubHc post and met there in the thirteen-year-old Sophie von Kiihn with whom he fell in love.
At her death the poet was imconsolable, and out of his grief sprang his Hymns to the Night in which he expressed a mystical death wish, granted soon there- after: In addition to the Hymns, considered a land- mark in the history of German poetry, Novahs wrote two lyrical novels— The Novices of Sais and Henry of Ofter- dingen, wherein the symboHc 'l lue flower" of the Roman- tics first blossomed— an essay, "Christianity or Europe," in which he glorified the medieval spirit, and finally his Spir- itual SongSy inspired by the rituals and festivals of the church and praising the Virgin Mary as the great symbol of the Infinite.
When numbers, figures, no more hold the key To solve the living creatures' mystery, When those who kiss and sing have knowledge more Than all the deeply learned scholars' store. And when in poesy and faerie Men read the world's eternal story, Then will a secret word obhge to flee All of this mad perversity. Gifted with feehng, Bestows not his love On the all-joyful light?
As life's inmost soul It is breathed By the giant world Of restless stars Who swim in its blue ocean. By the sparkling stone, The peaceful plant. By the creatures' Many-fashioned Ever-moving Hfe. It is breathed by the clouds Many-hued, by the zephyrs. And, above all, By the glorious strangers, With the thoughtful eyes. The swinging gait, And the sounding lips. As a king It summons each power Of terrestrial nature To numberless changes, And alone doth its presence Reveal the full splendor Of earth. Sunk in deep vault; How dreary, forlorn her abode!
Deep melancholy Stirs in the chords of the breast. Far oflF lies the world With its motley of pleasures. Elsewhere doth the Hght Pitch its airy encampment. What if it never returned To its faithful children, To its gardens In its glorious house? Yet what flows so cool. So refreshing, So full of hid tidings To our hearts, And absorbs the soft air Of melancholy? Hast thou too A human heart, O dark Night? What boldest thou Under thy mantle Which steals unseen Upon my soul, Giving it strength?
Thou seemest but fearful- Precious balm Drops from thy hand. From the bundle of poppies. In sweet intoxication Thou unfoldest the soul's heavy wings, And givest us joys Dark, inexpressible. Secret as thou, Joys which are promise of heaven. How joyful and bless'd The departure of day. It is but because Night withdraws those who serve thee That thou sowest In the wide realms of space Shining spheres. To proclaim in the times of thine absence Thine omnipotence, Thy returning again. More heavenly than those flashing stars In those wide spaces, Seem to us the infinite eyes Which the Night In us opens.
Farther see they Than the palest Of that numberless host. They look through the depths Of a love-enfiUed heart Which fills with unspeakable joy A loftier space. Praise to the world's Queen!
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To the lofty proclaimer Of holy world, To the nurturer Of blissful love. The Night is here- Rapt away is my soul- Finished the earthly way. Once more art thou mine. I gaze into the depths of thy dark eyes. See naught but love and bhssfulness therein; We sink upon Night's altar. Must ever the morning return? Endeth never the thraldom of earth?
Unhallowed aflFairs swallow up The heavenly coming of Night? Will never love's offering bum Eternal and hid? To the light was appointed its time, A time to its watching— But timeless the rule of the Night; Without end the duration of sleep. Holy Sleepl Bless not too seldom Night's consecrated ones— In this earth's daily round. Only the foolish mistake thee And know of no sleep But the shadows, Which thou in compassion Castest upon us In that twilight Of the true Night. They feel thee not In the golden flood of the grape, In the almond tree's Magic oil, In the brown juice of the poppy.
They know not It is thou That hoverest over the breast Of the tender maiden, And makest her bosom a heaven— They guess not That out of old histories Thou comest to meet us. And bearest the key To the dwellings of the bless'd: A silent messenger Of infinite mysteries. Melancholy flowed into a new unfathomable world; thou, O inspiration of night, slumber of heaven, camest o'er me. All that lay round me softly arose, and above it hovered my unbound, newly bom spirit. As a dust cloud became the mound; through the cloud I beheld the glorified features of the Be- loved.
In her eyes rested eternity. I grasped her hands and my tears became a sparkling indestructible cord. Thousands of years drew away down into the distance as a thunder- storm. On her neck I wept enchanted tears for the new life. That was the first dream in thee.
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It passed, but its image remained— the eternal, imshakable behef in the heaven of night, and its sim, the Beloved. IV Now know I when the last morning will be— when the Hght will no longer scare away love and the night, when slumber will be eternal and only one inexhaustible dream. Heavenly weariness deserts me now no more. Long and toilsome was the way to the Holy Sepulchre, and the Cross was heavy. He whose lips have once been moistened by the NOVALIS 61 crystal wave which, unseen by common sight, has its source in the dark womb of the mound at whose foot breaks the earthly tide, he who has stood above upon this boundary of the world, and has looked across into the new land, into the dwelling place of the night— he, of a truth, turns not back to the aflFairs of the world in the land where light holds sway, and eternal unrest makes its home.
Up above he builds himself tabernacles, dwellings of peace, he longs and loves, gazes across, until the most welcome of all hours draws him down into the wells of the foimt. All that is earthly floats on the surface, and is washed down from the heights; but what has become holy through contact of love runs released into hidden ways in yonder realm, where cloudlike it mingles with the slumber-wrapped loved ones. Still thou awakest The weary to work, O cheerful Light— Thou inspirest me with joyful life.
But thou allurest me not From remembering That moss-grown monument. Canst thou show me An ever-true heart? Has thy sun Friendly eyes Which know me? Do thy stars grasp My longing hand And give me in turn A tender pressure? Hast thou bedecked her With color And Hght outhne? Or was it she Who gave to thine adornment Higher and loveher meaning? What delight And what pleasures Offers thy life Which outweigh The enchantments of death? Doth not all that inspires us Bear the color of night? She beareth thee as a mother.
And to her thou dost owe All of thy splendor. Thou wouldst vanish Into thyself, Thou wouldst dissolve Into endless space Did she not hold thee— Not bind thee, So that thou grewest warm. And flaming Begottest the world. Verily I was, ere thou wert. Not yet have they ripened, Those thoughts of the gods. As yet are the traces but few In our age.
One day thy clock will depict The ending of time. When thou wilt become As one of us, And full of longing.
Melt away and die. I discern thy removal In wild grief From our home. Thy resistance To the glorious Ancient heaven. In vain is thy fury. Indestructible Stands the Cross, Triumphant banner Of our race. I wander across And every pain Will turn to a pricking Of joy again. Unending life Comes over me, And I look from above Down below upon thee. Thy brightness fades On that httle hill, A shade is bringing The chaplet cool. Beloved, Of me drink deep. That soon I be wrapped In eternal sleep. I feel death's encroaching. Youth-giving wave, And wait through life's stresses Full stalwart and brave.
Over the widespread race Of man There formerly ruled An iron destiny. A dark and heavy band Lay round their Anxious souls. Infinite was the earth, Abode of the gods And their home. Rich in treasures And glorious wonders. Since eternity Stood her mysterious frame. An ancient giant Supported the blissful world. And the befriended Joyful mankind.
The dark blue depths Of the sea Was the womb of a goddess. Heavenly hosts Dwelt in joyful delight In the grottoes of crystal- Trees and brooks, Blossoms and beasts Had human sense; Sweeter tasted the wine.
For a god in youthful bloom Gave it to man. The full sheaves Of golden com Were divinely bestowed; The rapturous joys of love A sacred service To heavenly beauty. Thus was life An eternal festival Of gods and men. Only there was one thought Which frightful to the festive tables trod, And in wild panic fear all hearts enveiled.
Here words of counsel even failed each god. Which with sweet comfort could their hearts have filled; Mysterious was this monster's dreadful road, Whose rage no gift, no anxious prayer availed— For it was Death, who this gay banquet scene Broke up in pain and tears and anguish keen. Forever now from all things separated Which here do stir the heart in sweet delight— From loved ones parted, whom, down here, belated. Vain longings and an endless grief incite— Dull dream the lot to which the dead seemed fated, Unconscious struggling deemed their dreary plight.
Broken and shattered was the wave of pleasure Upon the rock of misery without measure. With daring mind, and lofty feeling's zest, Did man embellish that grim mask unkind, A pale wan youth puts out the light to rest, Soft is the end, as harp strings touched by wind, And memory melts in shadow-flood at last: Thus poets eased the need of troubled mind.
Yet still unfathomed stayed eternal night. The solemn symbol of a far-off might. To its end inclined The ancient world. The happy garden Of the youthful race Withered away; Out into freer spaces Strove the full-grown, Unchildhke mankind. Laws arose, And in ideas As in dust and air Fell to pieces The measureless prime Of the thousandfold life. Fled away Were all-powerful faith And fantasy. All-transforming, AU-imiting, Heavenly comrade. Unfriendly blew A cold north wind Over the frozen plains, And the wonderland home Passed away in the ether. The infinite distance Of heaven Was filled with shining worlds.
Into a deeper sanctuary. Into the mind's higher realms. Drew the soul of the world With her powers. There to reign Till the new day Should break. No longer was Hght The abode of the gods. And a heavenly token- Around them they drew The curtain of night. In the midst of mankind. In a folk Despised above all.
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Too soon grown ripe, And proudly estranged From the blessed innocence Of youth. Before all others Did the eastern wisdom, Rich flowering, full of foreseeing.
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Know the approach Of the new age. A star pointed the way To the King's humble cradle. In the name of the far future They paid him homage. With the splendor and perfumes Of the highest wonders of nature. Unfolded the heavenly heart In sohtude To a glowing bosom of love, Turned toward The Father's lofty countenance, And resting on the holy foreboding breast Of the gracious earnest Mother. With worshiping ardor The prophetic eye Of the blossoming child Looked into future times.
Soon the most childhke natures, Wondrously gripped By the almighty love. A strange new life Flowered forth In his presence- Inexhaustible words. Most joyful of tidings. Fell hke sparks Of divine spirit From his gracious lips. Thou art that youthful form our tombs display Standing above them, deep in contemplation, ConsoHng emblem in our darkest day Of higher manhood's joyful new foundation.
What once had sunk us down, to grief a prey. Now draws us thence with longing's sweet elation. In Death was germ of hfe eternal found, Thyself art Death, and first doth make us sound. So that a thousand hearts Inchned themselves to him. And the glad gospel Upward waxed Branching a thousandfold. But yet short time After the singer passed, The precious life Became a sacrifice For the deep fall of man- Young in years he died, Tom away From the loved world, From the weeping Mother, From his friends.
The holy mouth Emptied the dark cup Of untold sorrow. In dreadful anguish Drew nigh to him the birth hour Of the new world. Hard wrestled he with the horrors Of ancient death. Heavy upon him lay The weight of the old world. Once more he gently looked upon the Mother- Then came the loosening hand Of eternal love— And he fell asleep. Few were the days Hung a deep veil Over the roaring sea, over the dark heaving land. Uncounted tears Wept the beloved ones. Awaked to new godlike glory He ascended to the heights Of the rejuvenated, new-bom world. And the old world Which with him had died.
With his own hand he bm'ied In the forsaken cave. And with almighty strength he laid above The stone which thence no power should ever move. Still weep thy loved ones Tears of joy, Tears of emotion. And unending thanks Before thy grave— And ever still With shock of joy See thee ascend.
Themselves with thee— See thee with ardor sweet Weep on the Mother's bosom And on the friends' true hearts. Hasten, filled with longing, Into the Father s arms, Bringing the young Childlike humanity And the inexhaustible draft Of the golden future. Long ages Have flowed by since then.
Thousands from pain and grief Draw nigh to thee Full of faith, longing, And fidehty, And rule with thee And the heavenly Virgin In the kingdom of love.
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And serve in the temple Of the heavenly death. Uplifted is the stone. Mankind is now arisen, We chng to thee alone, And feel no bond of prison. Death to the marriage calls, The lamps are shining steady. The virgins all are ready, No lack of oil befalls. Far distances are ringing With tidings of thy train! And stars the summons singing With human tongue and strain!
To thee, Maria, lifteth Of thousand hearts the plea. Whose hfe in shadow drifteth They long to come to thee. Consumed with bitter pain, This dreary earth-world spuming. Have turned to thee again. Their aid to us was given When pain and want befell. We join them now in heaven And ever with them dwell. For none with faith who careth On grave need sorely grieve, The treasure that he loveth From him will none bereave. For angels true of heaven His heart in safety keep. His longing grief to leaven Inspireth night his sleep. Our life with courage ending Eternal life draws near, With inner glow expanding Transfigured sense grows clear.
The star-world now is flowing As living golden wine, Its joys on us bestowing, Ourselves as stars shall shine. For love is freely given And partings ne'er may be. The flood of life is driven Like an unbounded sea- Unending night delights us. And all the sim that lights us Is God's own countenance. Within a narrow boat we come And hasten to the heavenly home. All hail, then, to eternal night, All hail, eternal sleeping, Warmed have we been by daily light. Withered by grief's long weeping. Strange lands no longer joys arouse. We want to reach our Father s house. In this world's hfe what shall we do With love and faith devoted?
What should we care about the new? The old is no more noted. Ohl lonely stands he, deeply sore. Whose love reveres the days of yore. The days of yore when, himian sense High flaming, brightly burning. The Father's hand and countenance Mankind was still discerning. Many of higher senses ripe Resembled still their prototype. The days of yore, when ancient stem Bore many youthful flowers. And children craved the heavenly home Beyond life's anguished hours. And e'en when hfe and pleasure spake Love caused full many a heart to break.
The days of yore, when God revealed Himself, young, ardent, glowing; To early death his life he sealed. Deep love and courage showing. Sparing himself no painful smart, He grew still dearer to our heart. We must repair to heavenly place If we would see those sacred days. What then doth hinder our return? The loved ones long have slumbered, Their grave enfolds our life's concern, With anxious grief we're cumbered.
We have no more to seek down here. The heart wants naught, the world is bare. Eternal and from hidden spring A sweet shower through us streameth; An echo of our grief did ring From distance far, meseemeth; The loved ones have the same desire. And with their longing us inspire. O downward then to Bride so sweetl To Jesus, the Beloved!