Translations. - Spiritual Songs.(from Novalis.) Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Without thee what were life or beingB
Without thee what had I not grownC
From fear and anguish vainly fleeingB
I in the world had stood aloneC
For all I loved could trust no shelterD
The future a dim gulf had lainE
And when my heart in tears did welterD
To whom had I poured out my painE
Consumed in love and longing lonelyF
Each day had worn the night's dull faceG
With hot tears I had followed onlyF
Afar life's wildly rushing raceG
No rest for me tumultuous drivenH
A hopeless sorrow by the hearthI
Who that had not a friend in heavenH
Could to the end hold out on earthJ
But if his heart once Jesus barethJ
And I of him right sure can beF
How soon a living glory scarethJ
The bottomless obscurityF
Manhood in him first man attainethJ
His fate in Him transfigured glowsK
On freezing Iceland India gainethJ
And round the loved one blooms and blowsK
Life grows a twilight softly stealingB
The world speaks all of love and gleeF
For every wound grows herb of healingB
And every heart beats full and freeF
I his ten thousand gifts receivingB
Humble like him his knees embraceG
Sure that we share his presence livingB
When two are gathered in one placeG
Forth forth to all highways and hedgesL
Compel the wanderers to come inM
Stretch out the hand that good will pledgesL
And gladly call them to their kinM
See heaven high over earth up dawningB
In faith we see it rise and spreadN
To all with us one spirit owningB
To them with us 'tis openedO
An ancient heavy guilt illusionH
Haunted our hearts a changeless doomP
Blindly we strayed in night's confusionH
Gladness and grief alike consumeP
Whate'er we did some law was brokenH
Mankind appeared God's enemyF
And if we thought the heavens had spokenH
They spoke but death and miseryF
The heart of life the fountain swellingB
An evil creature lay thereinM
If more light shone into our dwellingB
More unrest only did we winM
Down to the earth an iron fetterD
Fast held us trembling captive crewQ
Fear of Law's sword grim Death the whetterQ
Did swallow up hope's residueQ
Then came a saviour to deliverQ
A Son of Man in love and mightR
A holy fire of life all giverQ
He in our hearts has fanned alightR
Then first heaven opened and no fableS
Our own old fatherland we trodT
To hope and trust we straight were ableS
And knew ourselves akin to GodT
Then vanished Sin's old spectre dismalS
Our every step grew glad and braveU
Best natal gift in rite baptismalS
Their own faith men their children gaveU
Holy in him Life since hath floatedV
A happy dream through every heartW
We to his love and joy devotedV
Scarce know the moment we departW
Still standeth in his wondrous gloryQ
The holy loved one with his ownC
His crown of thorns his faithful storyQ
Still move our hearts still make us groanC
Whoso from deadly sleep will wakenH
And grasp his hand of sacrificeX
Into his heart with us is takenH
To ripen a fruit of ParadiseX
Dawn far eastward on the mountainH
Gray old times are growing youngY
From the flashing colour fountainH
I will quaff it deep and longZ
Granted boon to Longing's long privationH
Sweet love in divine transfigurationH
Comes at last our old Earth's nativeA2
All Heaven's one child simple kindB2
Blows again in song creativeA2
Round the earth a living windB2
Blows to clear new flames that rush togetherQ
Sparks extinguished long by earthly weatherQ
Everywhere from graves upspringingZ
Rises new born life new bloodV
Endless peace up to us bringingZ
Dives he underneath life's floodV
Stands in midst with full hands eyes caressingZ
Hardly waits the prayer to grant the blessingZ
Let his mild looks of invadingZ
Deep into thy spirit goZ
By his blessedness unfadingZ
Thou thy heart possessed shalt knowZ
Hearts of all men spirits all and sensesL
Mingle and a new glad dance commencesC2
Grasp his hands with boldness yearningZ
Stamp his face thy heart uponH
Turning toward him ever turningZ
Thou the flower must face thy sunH
Who to him his heart's last fold unfoldethJ
True as wife's his heart for ever holdethJ
Ours is now that Godhead's splendourQ
At whose name we used to quakeZ
South and north its breathings tenderQ
Heavenly germs at once awakeZ
Let us then in God's full garden labourQ
And to every bud and bloom be neighbourQ
Who in his chamber sitteth lonelyQ
And weepeth heavy bitter tearsD2
To whom in doleful colours onlyQ
Of want and woe the world appearsE2
Who of the Past gulf like recedingZ
Would search with questing eyes the coreQ
Down into which a sweet woe pleadingZ
Wiles him from all sides evermoreQ
As if a treasure past believingZ
Lay there below for him high piledF2
After whose lock with bosom heavingZ
He breathless grasps in longing wildF2
He sees the Future waste and aridV
In hideous length before him stretchG2
About he roams alone and harriedH2
And seeks himself poor restless wretchG2
I fall upon his bosom tearfulS
I once like thee with woe was wanH
But I grew well am strong and cheerfulS
And know the eternal rest of manH
Thou too must find the one consolerQ
Who inly loved endured and diedI2
Even for them that wrought his dolourQ
With thousand fold rejoicing diedI2
He died and yet fresh each to morrowQ
His love and him thy heart doth holdJ2
Thou mayst consoled for every sorrowQ
Him in thy arms with ardour foldJ2
New blood shall from his heart be drivenH
Through thy dead bones like living wineH
And once thy heart to him is givenH
Then is his heart for ever thineH
What thou didst lose he keeps it for theeQ
With him thy lost love thou shalt findB2
And what his hand doth once restore theeQ
That hand to thee will changeless bindB2
Of the thousand hours me meetingZ
And with gladsome promise greetingZ
One alone hath kept its faithJ
One wherein ah sorely grievedK2
In my heart I first perceivedK2
Who for us did die the deathJ
All to dust my world was beatenH
As a worm had through them eatenH
Withered in me bud and flowerQ
All my life had sought or cherishedL2
In the grave had sunk and perishedL2
Pain sat in my ruined bowerQ
While I thus in silence sighingZ
Ever wept on Death still cryingZ
Still to sad delusions tiedI2
All at once the night was clovenH
From my grave the stone was hovenH
And my inner doors thrown wideI2
Whom I saw and who the otherQ
Ask me not or friend or brotherQ
Sight seen once and evermoreQ
Lone in all life's eves and morrowsE2
This hour only like my sorrowsE2
Ever shines my eyes beforeQ
If I him but haveA2
If he be but mineH
If my heart hence to the graveA2
Ne'er forgets his love divineH
Know I nought of sadnessE2
Feel I nought but worship love and gladnessE2
note Here I found the double or feminine rhyme impossible without the loss of the far more precious simplicity of the original which could be retained only by a literal translationH
If I him but haveA2
Pleased from all I partW
Follow on my pilgrim staffA2
None but him with honest heartW
Leave the rest nought sayingZ
On broad bright and crowded highways strayingZ
If I him but haveA2
Glad to sleep I sinkZ
From his heart the flood he gaveA2
Shall to mine be food and drinkZ
And with sweet compellingZ
Mine shall soften deep throughout it wellingZ
If I him but haveA2
Mine the world I hailM2
Happy like a cherub graveA2
Holding back the Virgin's veilM2
I deep sunk in gazingZ
Hear no more the Earth or its poor praisingZ
Where I have but himN2
Is my fatherlandO2
Every gift a precious gemP2
Come to me from his own handO2
Brothers long deploredQ2
Lo in his disciples all restoredQ2
My faith to thee I break notR2
If all should faithless beA2
That gratitude forsake notR2
The world eternallyA2
For my sake Death did sting theeA2
With anguish keen and soreQ
Therefore with joy I bring theeA2
This heart for evermoreQ
Oft weep I like a riverQ
That thou art dead and yetS2
So many of thine thee GiverQ
Of life life long forgetS2
By love alone possessedT2
Such great things thou hast doneH
But thou art dead O BlessedT2
And no one thinks thereonH
Thou stand'st with love unshakenH
Ever by every manH
And if by all forsakenH
Art still the faithful oneH
Such love must win the wrestleS
At last thy love they'll seeA2
Weep bitterly and nestleS
Like children to thy kneeA2
Thou with thy love hast found meA2
O do not let me goQ
Keep me where thou hast bound meA2
Till one with thee I growQ
My brothers yet will wakenH
One look to heaven will dartW
Then sink down love o'ertakenH
And fall upon thy heartW
Few understandO2
The mystery of LoveA2
Know insatiablenessA2
And thirst eternalS
Of the Last SupperQ
The divine meaningZ
Is to the earthly senses a riddleS
But he that everQ
From warm beloved lipsA2
Drew breath of lifeA2
In whom the holy glowQ
Ever melted the heart in trembling wavesA2
Whose eye ever opened soQ
As to fathomU2
The bottomless deeps of heavenH
Will eat of his bodyA2
And drink of his bloodV
Who of the earthly bodyA2
Has divined the lofty senseA2
Who can sayA2
That he understands the bloodV
One day all is bodyA2
One bodyA2
In heavenly bloodV
Swims the blissful twoQ
Oh that the oceanH
Were even now flushingZ
And in odorous fleshG2
The rock were upswellingZ
Never endeth the sweet repastV
Never doth Love satisfy itselfA2
Never close enough never enough its ownH
Can it have the belovedV
By ever tenderer lipsA2
Transformed the PartakenH
Goes deeper grows nearerQ
Pleasure more ardentV
Thrills through the soulQ
Thirstier and hungrierQ
Becomes the heartV
And so endureth Love's delightV
From everlasting to everlastingZ
Had the refrainingZ
Tasted but onceA2
All had they leftV
To set themselves down with usA2
To the table of longingZ
Which will never be bareQ
Then had they known Love'sA2
Infinite fullnessA2
And commended the sustenanceA2
Of body and bloodV
Weep I must my heart runs overQ
Would he once himself discoverQ
If but once from far awayA2
Holy sorrow still prevailingZ
Is my weeping is my wailingZ
Would that I were turned to clayA2
Evermore I hear him cryingZ
To his Father see him dyingZ
Will this heart for ever beatV
Will my eyes in death close neverQ
Weeping all into a riverQ
Were a bliss for me too sweetV
Hear I none but me bewailingZ
Dies his name an echo failingZ
Is the world at once struck deadV
Shall I from his eyes ah neverQ
More drink love and life for everQ
Is he now for always deadV
Dead What means that sound of dolourQ
Tell me tell me thou a scholarQ
What it means that word so grimH
He is silent all turn from meA2
No one on the earth will show meA2
Where my heart may look for himH
Earth no more whate'er befall meA2
Can to any gladness call meA2
She is but one dream of woeQ
I too am with him departedV
Would I lay with him still heartedV
In the region down belowQ
Hear me hear his and my fatherQ
My dead bones I pray thee gatherQ
Unto his and soon I prayQ
Grass his hillock soon will coverQ
Soon the wind will wander overQ
Soon his form will fade awayQ
If his love they once perceivedV
Soon soon all men had believedV
Letting all things else go byA2
Lord of love him only owningZ
All would weep with me bemoaningZ
And in bitter woe would dieA2
He lives he's risen from the deadV
To every man I shoutV
His presence over us is spreadV
Goes with us in and outV
To each I say it each apaceA2
His comrades telleth tooV
That straight will dawn in every placeA2
The heavenly kingdom newV
Now to the new mind first appearsA2
The world a fatherlandV
A new life men receive with tearsA2
Of rapture from his handV
Down into deepest gulfs of seaA2
Grim Death hath sunk awayQ
And now each man with holy gleeA2
Can face his coming dayQ
The darksome road that he hath goneH
Leads out on heaven's floorQ
Who heeds the counsel of the SonH
Enters the Father's doorQ
Down here weeps no one any moreQ
For friend that shuts his eyesA2
For soon or late the parting soreQ
Will change to glad surpriseA2
And now to every friendly deedV
Each heart will warmer glowQ
For many a fold the fresh sown seedV
In lovelier fields will blowQ
He lives will sit beside our hearthsA2
The greatest with the leastV
Therefore this day shall be our Earth'sA2
Glad Renovation feastV
The times are all so wretchedV
The heart so full of caresA2
The future far outstretchedV
A spectral horror wearsA2
Wild terrors creep and hoverQ
With foot so ghastly softV
Our souls black midnights coverQ
With mountains piled aloftV
Firm props like reeds are wavingZ
For trust is left no stayQ
Our thoughts like whirlpool ravingZ
No more the will obeyQ
Frenzy with eye resistlessA2
Decoys from Truth's defenceA2
Life's pulse is flagging listlessA2
And dull is every senseA2
Who hath the cross upheavedQ
To shelter every soulQ
Who lives on high receivedQ
To make the wounded wholeQ
Go to the tree of wonderQ
Give silent longing roomP
Issuing flames asunderQ
Thy bad dream will consumeP
Draws thee an angel tenderQ
In saftey to the strandQ
Lo at thy feet in splendourQ
Lies spread the Promised LandQ
I know not what were left to draw meA2
Had I but him who is my blissA2
If still his eye with pleasure saw meA2
And dwelling with me me would missA2
So many search round all ways goingZ
With face distorted anxious eyeA2
Who call themselves the wise and knowingZ
Yet ever pass this treasure byA2
One man believes that he has found itQ
And what he has is nought but goldQ
One takes the world by sailing round itQ
The deed recorded all is toldQ
One man runs well to gain the laurelQ
Another in Victory's fane a nicheG2
By different Shows in bright apparelQ
All are befooled not one made richG2
Hath He not then to you appearedQ
Have ye forgot Him turning wanH
Whose side for love of us was spearedQ
The scorned rejected Son of ManH
Of Him have you not read the storyA2
Heard one poor word upon the windQ
What heavenly goodness was his gloryA2
Or what a gift he left behindQ
How he descended from the FatherQ
Of loveliest mother infant grandQ
What Word the nations from him gatherQ
How many bless his healing handQ
How thereto urged by mere love whollyA2
He gave himself to us awayQ
And down in earth foundation lowlyA2
First stone of God's new city layQ
Can such news fail to touch us mortalsA2
Is not to know the man pure blissA2
Will you not open all your portalsA2
To him who closed for you the abyssA2
Will you not let the world go faringZ
For Him your dearest wish denyA2
To him alone your heart keep baringZ
Who you has shown such favour highA2
Hero of love oh take me take meA2
Thou art my life my world my goldQ
Should every earthly thing forsake meA2
I know who will me scatheless holdQ
I see Thee my lost loves restoringZ
True evermore to me thou artQ
Low at thy feet heaven sinks adoringZ
And yet thou dwellest in my heartQ
Earth's Consolation why so slowQ
Thy inn is ready long agoQ
Each lifts to thee his hungering eyesA2
And open to thy blessing liesA2
O Father pour him forth with mightQ
Out of thine arms oh yield him quiteQ
Shyness alone sweet shame I knowQ
Kept him from coming long agoQ
Haste him from thine into our armV2
To take him with thy breath yet warmW2
Thick clouds around the baby wrapX2
And let him down into our lapX2
In the cool streams send him to usA2
In flames let him glow tremulousA2
In air and oil in sound and dewQ
Let him pierce all Earth's structure throughQ
So shall the holy fight be foughtQ
So come the rage of hell to noughtQ
And ever blooming dawn againH
The ancient Paradise of menH
Earth stirs once more grows green and liveA2
Full of the Spirit all things striveA2
To clasp with love the Saviour guestQ
And offer him the mother breastQ
Winter gives way a year new bornH
Stands at the manger's alter hornH
'Tis the first year of that new EarthJ
Claimed by the child in right of birthJ
Our eyes they see the Saviour wellQ
Yet in them doth the Saviour dwellQ
With flowers his head is wreathed aboutQ
From every flower himself smiles outQ
He is the star he is the sunH
Life's well that evermore will runH
From herb stone sea and light's expanseA2
Glimmers his childish countenanceA2
His childlike labour things to mendQ
His ardent love will never endQ
He nestles with unconscious artQ
Divinely fast to every heartQ
To us a God to himself a childQ
He loves us all self un defiledQ
Becomes our drink becomes our foodQ
His dearest thanks a heart that's goodQ
The misery grows yet more and moreQ
A gloomy grief afflicts us soreQ
Keep him no longer Father thusA2
He will come home again with usA2
When in hours of fear and failingZ
All but quite our heart despairsA2
When with sickness driven to wailingZ
Anguish at our bosom tearsA2
Then our loved ones we rememberQ
All their grief and trouble rueQ
Clouds close in on our DecemberQ
And no beam of hope shines throughQ
Oh but then God bends him o'er usA2
Then his love comes very nearQ
Long we heavenward then before usA2
Lo his angel standing clearQ
Life's cup fresh to us he reachesA2
Whispers comfort courage newQ
Nor in vain our prayer beseechesA2
Rest for our beloved ones tooQ
Who once hath seen thee Mother fairQ
Destruction him shall never snareQ
His fear is from thee to be partedQ
He loves thee evermore true heartedQ
Thy grace remembered is the sourceA2
Whereout springs hence his spirit's highest forceA2
My heart is very true to theeA2
My ever failing thou dost seeA2
Let me sweet mother yet essay theeA2
Give me one happy sign I pray theeA2
My whole existence rests in theeA2
One moment only one be thou with meA2
I used to see thee in my dreamsA2
So fair so full of tenderest beamsA2
The little God in thine arms lyingZ
Took pity on his playmate cryingZ
But thou with high look me didst aweY2
And into clouds of glory didst withdrawQ
What have I done to thee poor wretchG2
To thee my longing arms I stretchG2
Are not thy holy chapels everQ
My resting spots in life's endeavourQ
O Queen of saints and angels blestQ
This heart and life take up into thy restQ
Thou know'st that I beloved QueenH
All thine and only thine have beenH
Have I not now years of long measureQ
In silence learned thy grace to treasureQ
While to myself yet scarce confestQ
Even then I drew milk from thy holy breastQ
Oh countless times thou stood'st by meA2
I merry child looked up to theeA2
His hands thy little infant gave meA2
In sign that one day he would save meA2
Thou smiledst full of tendernessA2
And then didst kiss me oh the heavenly blissA2
Afar stands now that gladness briefA2
Long have I companied with griefA2
Restless I stray outside the gardenH
Have I then sinned beyond thy pardonH
Childlike thy garment's hem I pullQ
Oh wake me from this dream so wearifulQ
If only children see thy faceA2
And confident may trust thy graceA2
From age's bonds oh me deliverQ
And make me thine own child for everQ
The love and truth of childhood's primeZ2
Dwell in me yet from that same golden timeZ2
In countless pictures I behold theeA2
O Mary lovelily expressedQ
But of them all none can unfold theeA2
As I have seen thee in my breastQ
I only know the world's loud splendourQ
Since then is like a dream o'erblownH
And that a heaven for words too tenderQ
My quieted spirit fills aloneH

George Macdonald


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