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Der Mond ist aufgefangen

Claudius. 1782.

trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1855

The moon hath risen on high,

And in the clear dark sky

The golden stars all brightly glow;

And black and hushed the woods,

While o'er the fields and floods

The white mists hover to and fro.

How still the earth! how calm!

What dear and home-like charm

From gentle twilight doth she borrow!

Like to some quiet room,

Where wrapt in still soft gloom,

We sleep away the daylight's sorrow.

Look up; the moon tonight

Shows us but half her light,

And yet we know her round and fair.

At other things how oft

We in our blindness scoffed,

Because we saw not what was there.

We haughty sons of men

Have but a narrow ken,

We are but sinners poor and weak,

Yet airy dreams we build,

And deem us wise and skilled,

And come not nearer what we seek.


Thy mercy let us see,

Nor find in vanity

Our joy; nor trust in what departs;

But true and simple grow,

And live to Thee below

With sunny pure and childlike hearts.

Let Death all gently come

At last to take us home,

And let us meet him fearlessly;

And when these bonds are riven,

O take us to Thy heaven,

Our Lord and God, to dwell with Thee.

Now in His name most blest

My brethren sink to rest;

The wind is cold, chill falls the dew.

Spare us, O God, and keep

Us safe in quiet sleep,

And all the sick and suffering too.

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