Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin




I spoke much to him, for whatever poets think
Or sing about mainly concerns him and his angels.
I asked for much, out of love to the Fatherland,
So the Spirit wouldn’t suddenly fall upon us unbidden.
I asked a lot for you as well, my landspeople, who care
For the Fatherland, to whom righteous gratitude
Smiles and brings refugees. At the same time
The lake rocked me, and the steersman sat quietly
And approved of our boat ride. Joyous waves surged
On the lake’s surface under the sails, and now
The city rises brightly in the early morning,
And our boat comes well guided from the shaded Alps
To rest in the harbor. Here the shore is warm
And the open valleys are friendly, brightened by
Beautiful pathways, growing green and shimmering
Towards me. Gardens lie round about, bright buds open,
And birdsong welcomes the wanderer. Everything
Seems familiar; people hurrying by greet each other
As friends, and all by their faces seem related.


Continues            Home          All poems 



Website and Translations Copyright © 2020 by James Mitchell