Eliza Lee Follen

(Translated from the German of Uhland)

This is the Sabbath day!
In the wide field I am alone.
Hark! now one morning bell's sweet tone---
Now it has died away.
Kneeling, I worship Thee:
Sweet dread doth o'er my spirit steal,
From whispering sounds of those who kneel,
Unseen, to pray with me.
Around and far away
So clear and solemn is the sky,
It seems all opening to my eye:
This is the Sabbath day!

COMMENT: Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862) was a German romantic poet and scholar of
folklore, active in seeking liberal political change, very likely a personal
acquaintance of Follen's husband. Again, given Follen's involvement in the church
as an institution, her choice of this poem, which seems to suggest organized worship
is unnecessary, is remarkable. Compare Follen's translation to the following
translation by English poet Dora Greenwell (1821-1886):


This is the Lord's bright Day!
I am alone upon the plains---no sound
Of Morning-Bells awaken round
With music on my way.
Yet, kneeling here, I pray,
Oh Lord! in silent awe! I feel
That Many also pray, and kneel
Unseen, beside me here!---
The listening Heavens are clear
As if, through solemn depths of blue
Their Doors were opening on my view---
This is the Lord's bright Day!


Return to E-texts Page