Translation:The Young Man's Love by Ludwig Tieck, translated from German by Wikisource

5: Expectation

How can I endure then
This joy, this rapture?
How, with the beating
Of my heart, will my soul not flee?

And if now the time
For love has passed,
Why the longing
To drag out this joyless existence

In a sorrowful wilderness
Where flowers bloom no more on the shore?

With what tarrying feet
Does time pass cautiously step by step!
But if I must depart,
How light as a feather then flies her step!

Strike, O yearning power,
In my deep and faithful breast!
As the sounds of a lute fade away,
So flee the finest joys of life.
Ah, how soon
Before I am scarcely aware of this rapture.

Rush, O rush onwards,
You deep stream of time.
Soon you will wander away: tomorrow if not today.
You will go from place to place.
As you have carried me this far,
Sometimes joyfully, sometimes quietly,
I will dare to go further,
However things may turn out.

But I cannot consider myself miserable
When my own true love beckons to me.
Love will not leave me languishing
Until this life has sunk.
No, the stream grows ever broader.
The heavens remain cheerful to me.
With joyful strokes of the oar I voyage afar.
I shall bring life and love together to my graveside.