Introductory Note These paraphrased translations represent three short poems composed by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a person so well-known that I will pass on offering a biography and only note that he lived 1749-1832. The first poem, "Der du von dem Himmel bist" ("You Who Are from Heaven") was written by Goethe on February 12, 1776. It is often referenced with the title, "Wandrers Nachtlied" ("Wanderer’s Nightsong"), a title under which the poem, accompanied by a later, related poem was published in several editions. For a 1789 edition, Goethe altered the text of this poem in two places. The text I have chosen for translation is the original text. It is also the text chosen by Franz Schubert and Franz Liszt for use in each of their well-known musical/lieder settings of the poem. The second poem, "Sommer" ("Summer"), is associated with the date 1810. The poem’s structure is more formal and appears to have been more carefully crafted than the earlier poem (which, according to Goethe, was spontaneously written while sitting outdoors “on the slope of the Ettersberg.”) To my surprise, I could find no musical setting of this poem. So, in an attempt to rectify the situation, I composed and recorded a lieder of my own to honor the work. An audio of the song accompanies the poem. The third poem, “Nähe des Geliebten” (“The Nearness of the Beloved”) was written and published in 1825. The poem’s unusual form (alternating iambic pentameter lines with feminine ending with iambic di-meter lines with masculine endings was modelled after a poem (“Ich Denke Dein”) by Friederike Brun and inspired by a music setting of her poem by Carl Friedrich Zelter. Goethe’s poem not only follows the same form as Brun’s, but maintains both her imagery and feminine perspective for a woman longing for her lover. Goethe’s poem inspired Franz Schubert to set it to music and inspired me to compose and record a setting of my own. Three TranslationsofJohann Wolfgang von Goethe(From the German) You Who Are from Heaven You from heaven, hear my plea,Ease my pain and suffering.For my double miseryDouble the relief you bring. Oh, so tired! I seek release!Pain and lust have played their part.Ah, sweet peace!Come, oh come into my heart. Der du von dem Himmel bist Der du von dem Himmel bist,Alles Leid und Schmerzen stillest,Den, der doppelt elend ist,Doppelt mit Erquickung füllest; Ach, ich bin des Treibens müde!Was soll all der Schmerz und Lust?Süßer Friede,Komm, ach komm in meine Brust! Summer The summer’s here, with longer, warmer days.The light entices us to go outsideWhere, by the waterfall, on rocks we laze,With drink and stirring words most satisfied. As thunder rolls, and bolts of lightning blaze,A hat-like cave provides a place to hide.Through flash and crash we huddle close together,But love is smiling ‘neath the stormy weather. Sommer Der Sommer folgt. Es wachsen Tag und Hitze,und von den Auen dränget uns die Glut;doch dort am Wasserfall, am Felsensitzeerquickt ein Trunk, erfrischt ein Wort das Blut. Der Donner rollt, schon kreuzen sich die Blitze,die Höhle wölbt sich auf zur sichern Hut,dem Tosen nach kracht schnell ein knatternd Schmettern;doch Liebe lächelt unter Sturm und Wettern. X X The Nearness of the Beloved I think of you, whenever sunlight shimmersOn ocean gleams.I think of you, whenever moonlight glimmersOn painted streams. I see you when, upon some dusty highway,Your face appears.In darkest night when on some narrow by-wayI shake with fears. I hear you in the far-off muffled soundingOf ocean’s drill.In quiet groves I listen, all surroundingWhen all is still. Though we are far apart, with hearts entwining,I feel you near!The sun descends, and soon stars will be shining;Would’st you were here! X Nähe des Geliebten Ich denke dein, wenn mir der Sonne SchimmerVom Meere strahlt;Ich denke dein, wenn sich des Mondes Flimmer In Quellen malt. Ich sehe dich, wenn auf dem fernen Wege Der Staub sich hebt;In tiefer Nacht, wenn auf dem schmalen Stege Der Wandrer bebt. Ich höre dich, wenn dort mit dumpfem Rauschen Die Welle steigt.Im stillen Haine geh ich oft zu lauschen, Wenn alles schweigt. Ich bin bei dir, du seist auch noch so ferne, Du bist mir nah!Die Sonne sinkt, bald leuchten mir die Sterne. O wärst du da! X X X X James A. Tweedie is a recently retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He likes to walk on the beach with his wife. He has written and self-published four novels and a collection of short stories. He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers.