Hymns To The Night, by German philosopher, author, and poet Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (1772-1801), translated to English from the original German by George MacDonald, 1897.
Longing for Death
Into the bosom of the earth,
Out of the Light's dominion
Death's pains are but a bursting forth,
Sign of glad departure
Swift in the narrow little boat,
Swift to the heavenly shore we float.
Blessed be the everlasting
And blessed the endless slumber.
We are heated by the day too bright,
And withered up with care.
We're weary of a life abroad,
And we now want our Father
What in this world should we all
Do with love and with faith?
That which is old is set aside,
And the new may perish also.
Alone he stands and sore
Who loves with pious warmth the Past.
The Past where the light of the senses
In lofty flames
Where the Father's face and hand
All men did recognize;
And, with high sense, in simplicity
Many still fit the original pattern.
The Past wherein, still rich in bloom,
Man's strain did burgeon glorious,
And children, for the world to come,
Sought pain and death
And, through both life and pleasure spake,
Yet many a heart for love did break.
The Past, where to the flow of youth
God still showed himself,
And truly to an early death
his sweet life.
Fear and torture patiently he bore
So that he would be loved forever.
yearning now we see
That Past in darkness drenched
With this world's water never we
Shall find our hot thirst quenched.
To our old home we have to go
That blessed time again to know.
What yet doth hinder our return
To loved ones long reposed?
limits our lives.
We are all sad and afraid.
We can search for nothing more --
is full, the world is void.
Thrills through us a sweet trembling --
As if from far there echoed thus
A sigh, our grief resembling.
Our loved ones yearn as well as we,
And sent to us this longing breeze
Down to the sweet bride
To the beloved Jesus
Have courage, evening shades grow gray
To those who love and grieve.
A dream will dash our chains
And lay us in the Father's lap.