Im Treibhaus
In the Hothouse

Wesendonck-Lieder Wesendonck Songs


Crown of leaves arching high,
Canopies of emerald,
Children, come from distant parts,
What is it that breaks your hearts?

Silently your branches bow,
Tracing symbols in the air,
The mute witness to your suffering,
A sweet fragrance rises there.

Yearning with desire
You stretch your arms out wide
And, captive to delusion, hug
Emptiness, the barren void.

I know that well, poor plant,
It is one fate we share;
Though glowing light surrounds us,
Our homeland lies elsewhere.

And as, happily, the sun deserts
The empty light of day,
He who knows real anguish
Finds, in the dark, a silent hideaway.

The silence grows, a rustling web
Fills the darkened space with dread:
Along the edges of the leaves
I see heavy droplets quiver.