Often on the mountain, in the shade of the old oak,
At sunset, sadly I sit down;
I walk at random on the plain,
Whose changing picture takes place at my feet.
Here scolds the river with foaming waves;
It winds, and sinks into a distant obscurity;
There the motionless lake extends its still waters.
At the summit of these mountains crowned with dark woods,
The twilight still throws a last ray; and the vaporous chariot of the queen of shadows increase, and already whiteens the edges of the horizon.
However, rushing from the Gothic spire,
From hill to hill in vain bearing my sight,
From the south to the aquilon, from dawn to sunset,
I traverse all the points of the immense extent,
And I say: “somewhere happiness is waiting for me.”
Whether the round of the sun begins or ends,
With an indifferent eye I follow him in his course;
In a dark or pure sky it sets or gets up,
What does the sun matter? I expect nothing of the days. When I could follow him in his vast career,
My eyes would see emptiness and deserts everywhere: I desire nothing of all that he enlightens;I ask nothing of the immense universe.
What do these valleys, these places, these cottages, Vain objects of which the charm is gone for me?
But perhaps beyond the limits of his sphere,
Places where the true sun shines from other heavens,
If I could leave my remains to the earth,
What I dreamed so much would appear to me!
There I would get drunk at the spring where I aspired;
There I would find hope and love,
And this ideal good that every soul desires,
And who has no name in the earthly experience!
When the leaf falls into the meadow,
The evening wind rises and drains it from the valleys;
And I am like the wilted leaf:
Take me like her, stormy aquilons!