If only I could journey …

Graf Hermann von Pückler-Muskau is credited with having coined the term meaning the sickening for far away places. He travelled extensively in the first part of the 18th century and used the term in his letters and travelogues. But the sentiment grew out of the times – the late Romantic era manifested probably best by the German poet Joseph von Eichendorff.

Although Eichendorff did not use the word, his poem Sehnsucht (Yearning or Longing) is the embodiment of the concept:

    The stars were shining with golden light
    As I stood alone by the window
    And listened to the distant sound    
    Of the posthorn in the still countryside.
    My heart became inflamed in my body,
    And I thought secretly to myself:
    Ah, if only I could journey with them
    Into that magnificent summer night!

    Es schienen so golden die Sterne,
    Am Fenster ich einsam stand
    Und hörte aus weiter Ferne
    Ein Posthorn im stillen Land.
    Das Herz mir im Leibe entbrennte,
    Da hab ich mir heimlich gedacht:
    Ach, wer da mitreisen könnte
    In der prächtigen Sommernacht.


Linked to the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Fernweh.

5 thoughts on “If only I could journey …

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