Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
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Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
 
Parting and Return I & II
By Detlev von Liliencron (1844–1909)
 
I
ALL over, over—and my eyes
Afar are straying in despair.
All over—but the sea-gull flies,
My plaintive escort, through the air.
 
The gull returns: far, far away        5
I leave my fatherland behind;
An outcast from my home I stray
Where I my grave had hoped to find.
 
When yesterday, in parting pain,
Enraged the linden bough I shook,        10
And heard the partridge in the grain,
A fever-spell my limbs o’ertook.
 
My ship is pitching, tossed by waves,
The mates are singing while they sail.
My heart is tossed, it storms and raves,        15
And homeless, I must feel the gale.
 
II
’Mid waves there gleams the pallid strand;
Afar through blurring tears is seen
The seacoast of my fatherland.
Exhausted, by the mast I lean.        20
 
The lilacs bloom, the swallows stray,
The starlings’ chatter fills the air,
The organ-grinder grinds his lay,
The wind’s light kiss is on my hair.
 
Before the guardhouse soldiers stand,        25
And arm in arm laugh damsels young,
While from the school there pours a band
That frolics in my native tongue.
 
My heart cries out in rapture wild,
Rejoicing my old home to greet,        30
And all I lived with as a child
Like echoes on my way I meet.
 
 
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