Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII. 1876–79.



By Johann Heinrich Voss (1751–1826)

(From Louisa)
Translated by J. Cochrane

O, HOW refreshing the air from the lake! how cool! And the landscape,

How it does smile! Gay meadows and cornfields undulate round us;

Up there dark green, nearer us light, and besprinkled with wild-flowers.

What a commotion! The tall rye waves like a volume of green smoke.

Yonder the village is seen, surrounded with orchards in blossom:

Nearer, the bright blue stream, and the spire with its glittering dial.

There towers up the baronial castle, embosomed in chestnuts;

Down in the meadow are cows, and the stork quite fearless among them.

Round by the wood-clad hillock the lake lies shimmering brightly;

Hay-stacks yonder in rows, there mowers; and here we ourselves are,

Listening the hum of the bees in the midst of the blossoming buckwheat.

Come, let us all look round and enjoy this beautiful landscape.


Ended the father, and rose; when the others immediately followed;

And all wandered about, by their long summer shadows attended,

Over the gravelly bourne, to the stream from the lake forth flowing,

Far as the fragrant height where the pendulous birches to heaven

Whispered, and fir-trees rose with their year’s growth’s golden tiara.

Stealthily bunches of low green junipers crept o’er the hillocks,

Fabulous graves of the giants; and shone with its prickles the holly.

Waving aloft in the clouds, trees fit for some admiral rustled;

All to the eastward bent, from the storm in the forty-and-seven.

Over the landscape, far towards Eutin they gazed upon orchards,

Herd-pied meadows and woods, and on villages topped with their steeples;

Where, in the distance, the prebend the prebendal lands could distinguish!

Long they conversed there, singing the tender effusions of Stolberg,

Buerger, and Hagedorn too, and of Claudius, Gleim, and Jacobi:

Sang, “O beautiful, wondrous is God’s creation,” with Hölty,

Who could smile upon death; and lamented thy early removal, Sweetest of bards!


All now feasted, reclining at ease, sitting close by each other,

Under the wide-spreading beech, with the soft thick moss underneath them.

Lower the sun now sunk, on the pendulous foliage pouring

Glittering rays; oft forcing the sitters to shift their position.

Scarcely a reed even stirred, and the lake was as smooth as a mirror:

Ceaseless the grasshoppers chirped, and the gay birds warbled in concert:

Bitterns far in the distance, and lapwings; nearer the cuckoo,

Blackbirds, thrushes, and finches, and bright yellow hammers: and yonder,

Down in the cornfields, landrails craiked; embowered in elm-trees

Wood-pigeons cooed, whose note with the blue-winged jay’s intermingled.