Caspar David Friedrich — The Wanderer in the Mists.
Two poems by Friedrich Ruckert (1788-1866).
Nothing like a little German Romantic poetry to brighten
up one's day.
"At Forty" (1832)
At forty the mountain has been climbed;
We stand still and look back;
There we see lying the quiet happiness of childhood
And there the boisterous happiness of youth.
Look once again, and then with renewed stength once more
Lift your traveler's staff!
A mountain ridge extends before you, a broad one,
And the way down is not here but on the other side.
You no longer need to climb upward breathing heavily,
The plain draws you along of its own accord;
Then together with you it will imperceptibly incline,
And before you know it, you will be in port.
"I Am Weary, Weary to Death" (1865)
I am weary, weary to death;
I am weary, weary of living;
Weary of this fear and desire,
Of this hoping and trembling;
Weary of this hovering up and down
Between earth and sky;
Weary of this spiderlike existence's
Weaving of fantasies;
Weary of this fool's wisdom,
Weary of proud arrogance.
Arise, my spirit, in these chains
No longer struggle in vain until weary!
Fly up to the heaven where you belong,
Weary of clinging to the dust.
(tr. by Stanley Appelbaum)