Translation:The Fair Magelone/X

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The Fair Magelone (1797)
by Ludwig Tieck, translated from German by Wikisource
Section 10
1141677The Fair Magelone — Section 101797Ludwig Tieck

10: How Magelone Fled with Her Knight

Night fell. Magelone crept through the garden with some valuables; the sky was overcast with clouds; only the faint light of the Moon pierced the darkness. Sadly, she walked past her beloved flowers, which she was now leaving forever. A damp wind blew through the garden; it was as if the shrubs were whining and complaining, and bidding her an affectionate farewell.

Peter was waiting by the gate with three horses, among which was a palfrey of an easy and comfortable gait for the young lady; on another horse were provisions, so that there would be no need to stop at hostels along the way. Peter lifted the lady onto the palfrey, and they took flight in secret and under cover of night.
>br>In the morning, the nurse missed her princess, and it was soon discovered that the knight had departed in the night; the king realized that he had eloped with his daughter. He sent many people out to search for them; these searched high and low for them, but they all returned after several days without success.

Peter had taken the precaution of riding towards the woods, which lay near the sea, where the roads were isolated and almost never frequented. Here he fled with his beloved in safety under the thick cover of night. The tramp of the horses echoed throughout the forest, and the tops of the trees rustled dreadfully in the darkness; but Magelone's heart was free and full of joy, for her beloved was by her side always. She feasted her eyes on his countenance as they trotted across a clearing; she asked him many things about his parents and his home, and so they passed the wearisome night in anxious expectation, conversation and high hopes.

The following dawn, dense white fog spread through the woods like a blessing from God, which passed through pathless thickets and hastened towards the cornfields, where it settled like dew. They moved on through the drifting fog and through the morning breeze, which roused all nature from her deep sleep. Magelone complained of no hardships, because she felt none.

Now the lovely sun burst forth, and gazed through the dense forest with his glowing and sparkling eye. The green grass looked as though it was on fire, and the flickering dew quivered with thousands of dazzling scintillations. The horses neighed; the birds awakened and flitted from branch to branch as they sang; bright yellow, they bathed in the dew of the meadows and fluttered along the ground in the splendour of the young light; golden streaks rose up into the blue sky and cleared a path for the rising sun; birdsong was heard in every bush; the merry larks flew up and sang on high to the new-dawning world.

Peter also struck up a joyful song, and the fair Magelone's heart was overcome with delight. His voice quivered through the trees, and a distant echo sang back to him. In the glowing sky and the splendour of the cool forest the two travellers saw a reflection of their own love; every sound called to their hearts, and filled them with nostalgic joy.

The sun climbed higher. By midday Magelone was feeling very tired, so they both dismounted from their horses in a nice cool spot in the forest. Soft grass and moss had sprung up tenderly on a small hillock; Peter set his cloak down on the grass and spread it out; Magelone lay down on the knight's cloak and rested her head on his lap. They looked at each other with tender eyes, and Magelone said:

How happy I am here, my beloved. How safe I feel resting here in the shade of this green tree, whose leaves, like so many tongues, make so lovely chatter, which it is pleasing to listen to. Birdsong echoes through the dense forest, and blends itself with the babbling brooks. It is so lonely here; it sounds as though a host of spirits are calling to one another across the valleys and answering through the loneliness. When I look in your eyes, I feel a surge of excitement that we are here now, far away from other people, with only ourselves for company. But let your sweet voice sound through this harmony of confusion, and the beauty of the music will be complete. I will try to get some sleep, but be sure to awaken me in good time so that we may soon arrive at your dear parents' home.

Peter smiled. He watched as her beautiful eyelids closed, and her long black lashes cast a lovely shade over her sweet face. Then he sang:

Rest, my sweet beloved, in the shade
Of the green darkling night.
The grass rustles in the meadows;
The shadowing boughs gently fan and cool you,
As your true love keeps watch.
Sleep, O sleep,
Softly murmurs the forest:
I am yours forever.

Hush, you hidden singers!
Do not disturb her sweet repose!
The birds in their flocks give ear,
Their noisy songs fall silent.
Close your eyes, my beloved.
Sleep, O sleep.
In the twilight glow
I will watch over you.

Murmur on, O melodies;
Rush on, O quiet brook.
Beautiful reveries of love
Are expressed in these melodies;
Tender dreams swim in their wake.
Through the whispering grove
Swarm tiny golden bees
Who hum you to sleep.