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


Not at Home

By Andreas Justinus Kerner (1786–1862)

  • Translated by J. C. Mangan
  • “One grand cause of this uneasiness is, that Man is not at home.”—Godwin, Thoughts on Man.

    MY spirit, alas, knoweth no rest!

    I lay under heaven’s blue dome,

    One day, in the summer beam,

    By the Mummelsee in the forest,

    And dreamed a dream

    Of my Home—

    My Home, the Home of my Father!

    Shone glory within and without;

    Shone bright in its garden bowers

    Such fruits as the angels gather,

    And gold-hued flowers

    All about!

    Alas! the illusion soon vanished.

    I awoke. There were clouds in the sky,

    My tears began to flow.

    My quiet of soul was banished;

    I felt as though

    I could die!

    And still with a heart ever swelling

    With yearnings,—and still with years

    Overdarked by a desolate lot,

    I seek for my father’s dwelling,

    And see it not

    For my tears!