So Fresh Thou Art

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So like the sweet, white cherry blossom,
So tender and so fresh thou art,
And on my life s way like an angel
Appearing thou dost light impart.

Thou scarcely touchest the soft carpet,
The silk on thee doth rustling stream,
From top to toe so light and lofty,
Thou floatest like an airy dream.

From draping folds like purest marble
Thine image unto me appears,
My whole soul on thine eyes is hanging,
Those eyes so full of joy and tears.

O happy dream of love, so happy,
Thou bride of fairy tales, so mild,
No, do not smile! Thy smille doth show me
How sweet thou art, thou gentle child.

My poor eyes thou canst close for ever
With deepest night s eternal charms,
With thy sweet lips sweet fondling, whispers,
Embracing me with thy cool arms.

A veiling thought at once now passes
Thy glowing eyes thus covering:
It is the dark renunciation,
The sweetest yearning s shadowing.

Thou go st away and, well I know it,
To follow thee must I no more,
Thou art for me now lost for ever,
My soul s dear bride, whom I adore.

My only guilt was that I saw thee,
Which I to pardon have no might,
Mine arm I ll stretch for ever vainly
To expiate my dream of light.

Like holy Virgin s purest image
In my fond eyes thou will rise now,
The brightest crown on forehead bearing,
Where dost thou go? When comest thou?

(1879, Translated by P. Grimm)




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