This airy world, so fine and free
now suckles me; Nature the bless’d,
so sweet, so kind a nurse is she,
She clasps me gently to her breast.
The waves are rocking our small boat,
the oars strike out and keep the beat,
the clouded hills rise where we float
and bow before us when we meet.
What’s this, my eyes, why are you weeping?
Has that vain golden dream come creeping?
Away false dream, gold though you be!
Here too are love and life for me.
High above are sparkling
stars without number,
the gentle mists are guarding
the hills in their slumber;
a morning breeze is stealing
around the shaded bay,
the new dawn is revealing
a glorious new day.
Freely (very!) translated by Wayland Wordsmith from the German of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “Auf dem See”