Norbert Krapf



(after Matthias Claudius, 1740-1815)

The moon has risen,
the tiny golden stars shine
bright and clear in the heavens.
The woods are black and silent
and the white mist rises
mysteriously from the meadows.

How still is the world,
and cozy and friendly
in the cover of dusk,
like a quiet chamber
where you can sleep away
and forget the misery of day.

See the moon up there?
You can see only half of it,
yet it is round and beautiful.
So indeed are many things
which we laugh at too easily,
because we cannot see them.

Matthias Claudius (1740-1815), born in Reinfeld, Holstein, was the son of a parson, studied theology and law, worked on a newspaper in Hamburg, and edited an influential literary magazine. A number of his widely popular poems, which feature strong feelings and simple diction, were set to music. "Evening Song" is a beloved children's song in Germany today.



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