Poems and Prose Remains, Vol II

Translations from Goethe

Arthur Hugh Clough

OVER every hill
    All is still;
In no leaf of any tree
    Can you see
The motion of a breath.
Every bird has ceased its song,
    Wait; and thou too, ere long,
    Shall be quiet in death.

WHO ne’er his bread with tears hath ate,
    Who never through the sad night hours
Weeping upon his bed hath sate,
    He knows not you, you heavenly powers.

Forth into life you bid us go,
    And into guilt you let us fall,
Then leave us to endure the woe
    It brings unfailingly to all.

YOU complain of the woman for roving from one to another:—
    Where is the constant man whom she is trying to find?

SLUMBER and Sleep, two brothers appointed to serve the immortals,
    By Prometheus were brought hither to comfort mankind;
But what in heaven was light, to human creatures was heavy:—
    Slumber became our Sleep, Sleep unto mortals was Death.

OH, the beautiful child! and oh, the most happy mother!
    She in her infant blessed, and in its mother the babe—
What sweet longing within me this picture might not occasion,
    Were I not, Joseph, like you, calmly condemned to standby!

DIOGENES by his tub, contenting himself with the sunshine,
And Calanus with joy mounting his funeral pyre:—
Great examples were these for the eager approving of Philip,
But for the Conqueror of Earth were, as the earth was, too small.

Poems and Prose Remains vol II - Contents

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