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Geisterleben (1819)


Von dir getrennet, liege ich begraben,
Mich grüßt kein Säuseln linder Frühlingslüfte;
Kein Lerchensang, kein Balsam süßer Düfte,
Kein Stral der Morgensonne kann mich laben.
Wenn sich die Lebenden dem Schlummer übergaben,
Wenn Todte steigen aus dem Schooß der Grüfte,
Dann schweb’ ich träumend über Höhn und Klüfte,
Die mich so fern von dir getrennet haben.
Durch den verbotnen Garten darf ich gehen,
Durch Thüren wandl’ ich, die mir sonst verriegelt,
Bis zu der Schönheit stillem Heiligthume.
Erschreckt dich Geisterhauch, du zarte Blume?
Es ist der Liebe Wehn, das dich umflügelt.
Leb wohl! Ich muß in’s Grab, die Hähne krähen.

A spirit's life

Torn from you, I lie in my grave,
No gentle spring breezes greet me;
No lark song, no balm of sweet scents,
No ray of the morning sun can refresh me.
When the living are given over to slumber,
When the dead rise from their graves,
I float dreaming over mountains and chasms,
That have torn me from you so far.
I may now pass through the forbidden garden,
Through doors that were bolted against me,
To the sacred shrine of beauty.
Does a spirit’s breath appal you, tender flower?
It is the breath of love winging round you.
Farewell! The cocks are crowing, I must go back to my grave.
Translations © by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder.

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Johann Carl Gottfried Loewe (G30 November 1796 – 20 April 1869),was a German composer, tenor singer and conductor. He wrote over 400 ballads and songs.

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Johann Ludwig Uhland, was a German poet, philologist and literary historian.
He was born in Tübingen, Württemberg, and studied jurisprudence at the university there, but also took an interest in medieval literature, especially old German and French poetry. Having graduated as a doctor of laws in 1810, he went to Paris for eight months to continue his studies of poetry; and from 1812 to 1814 he worked as a lawyer in Stuttgart, in the bureau of the minister of justice.

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