Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer and polymath during the period of the Romanticism. He’s works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, philosophy, pantheism and science.
The most important of Goethe’s works produced before he went to Weimar were his tragedy Götz von Berlichingen (1773), and the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther(1774), which gained him enormous fame. The next work, his epic closet drama Faust, was to be completed in stages, and only published in its entirety after his death. Goethe’s poetic work served as a model for an entire movement in German poetry termed Innerlichkeit (“introversion”) and represented by, for example, Heinrich Heine (1797 – 1856).THE ORIGINALNähe des GeliebtenIch denke dein, wenn mir der Sonne Schimmer
Vom 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!VARIOUS ENGLISH TRANSLATIONSNearness of the BelovedI think of you when sunlight on the ocean
Glimmers at noon;
I think of you when shimmers in the river
Mirror the moon.I see you in the rise of dust that covers
The distant ridge,
In each deep midnight where the wanderer quivers
On the high bridge,I hear you in the low and muffled rustle
Of rolling seas.
I often go to quiet groves and listen
To things at peace.I am with you. However far you are,
I know you’re near!
The setting sun sets stars up over me.
I want you here!
I think of you,
when I see the sun’s shimmer
Gleaming from the sea.
I think of you,
when the moon’s glimmer
Is reflected in the springs.I see you,
when on the distant road
The dust rises,
In deep night,
when on the narrow bridge
The traveler trembles.I hear you,
when with a dull roar
The wave surges.
In the quiet grove I often go to listen
When all is silent.I am with you,
however far away you may be,
You are next to me!
The sun is setting,
soon the stars will shine upon me.
If only you were here!I think of thee, when the high sun glows red
On the vast deep;
I think of thee, when on old ocean’s bed
Pale moon-beams sleep.I see thee, when upon the mountain tops
Dawns the first light;
When on the trembling bridge the wanderer stops,
At dead of night.I hear thee, when the glossy stream runs by
With mellow gush;
When on the woodland broods, and in the sky,
A solemn hush.Ay, I am ever by thee; though afar –
Still art thou near;
The sun sets, dimly gleams the eveining star, –
Would thou wert here!I THINK of thee, whene’er the sun his beams
O’er ocean flings;
I think of thee, whene’er the moonlight gleams
In silv’ry springs.I see thee, when upon the distant ridge
The dust awakes;
At midnight’s hour, when on the fragile bridge
The wanderer quakes.I hear thee, when yon billows rise on high,
With murmur deep.
To tread the silent grove oft wander I,
When all’s asleep.I’m near thee, though thou far away mayst be–
Thou, too, art near!
The sun then sets, the stars soon lighten me.
Would thou wert here!