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

Rügen, the Island


By Wilhelm Müller (1794–1827)

Translated by W. W. Story

PEALING from the ocean’s deep foundations,

Faint and hollow sound the evening bells,

And its strange and wondrous revelations

Of the fair old wonder-city tells.

Deep beneath the gleaming surface sunken,

Ruins of that city still remain,

On its turrets sparks of golden splendor

From the mirror glimmer back again.

And the mariner, to whom appeareth

In the evening light its magic glow,

To the selfsame spot forever steereth,

Though the rocks lie threatening below.

From the heart’s deep, deep foundations swelling,

Bells are sounding mournfully and low,

Ah! I hear them, wondrous tales revealing,

Of the love it knew so long ago.

Sunken there a world of beauty lieth;

Far below, its ruins still remain,

Golden gleams from heaven are thence reflected

In the mirror of my dreams again.

Then, into the fair reflection falling,

Would I sink within those silent deeps,

And I seem to hear an angel calling

Down to where that wonder-city sleeps.