Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
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Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
 
Evening Song
By Matthias Claudius (1740–1815)
 
THE MOON is risen, beaming,
The golden stars are gleaming
So brightly in the skies;
The hushed, black woods are dreaming,
The mists, like phantoms seeming,        5
From meadows magically rise.
 
How still the world reposes,
While twilight round it closes,
So peaceful and so fair!
A quiet room for sleeping,        10
Into oblivion steeping
The day’s distress and sober care.
 
Look at the moon so lonely!
One half is shining only,
Yet she is round and bright;        15
Thus oft we laugh unknowing
At things that are not showing,
That still are hidden from our sight.
 
We, with our proud endeavour,
Are poor vain sinners ever,        20
There’s little that we know.
Frail cobwebs we are spinning,
Our goal we are not winning,
But straying farther as we go.
 
God, make us see Thy glory,        25
Distrust things transitory,
Delight in nothing vain!
Lord, here on earth stand by us,
To make us glad and pious,
And artless children once again!        30
 
Grant that, without much grieving,
This world we may be leaving
In gentle death at last.
And then do not forsake us,
But into heaven take us,        35
Lord God, oh, hold us fast!
 
Lie down, my friends, reposing,
Your eyes in God’s name closing.
How cold the night-wind blew!
Oh God, Thine anger keeping,        40
Now grant us peaceful sleeping,
And our sick neighbour too.
 
 
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