Der Lindenbaum

Cottage by Linden Tree

Beneath the linden’s stalwart branches,
by the fountain-well and gate
I’d lie back and loaf for hours;
daydreams knew no rein or wait.
Witness to a young lad’s ardor,
names and words of love survive,
carved with care and heartfelt fondness –
youngblood’s passions: gained, deprived.

Once again this night I amble
past the linden tree and well
where I pause in silent marvel,
close my eyes so I could tell
what the branches’ quiet whisper
tell this wayward vagabond –
“Cast aside your days of wandering,
toss them to the Great Beyond!”

Cold: the gust of wind that struck me,
whooshed my hat upon the ground
while I stood there, helpless, frozen
like a robot, stunned, spellbound.
Though I spend my share of hours
far from where my linden stands,
always, always is its beckoning
like a mother’s loving hands.


© Eric Linden

Author’s Note

This is actually a paraphrase of a poem by Wilhelm Müller (1794–1827), #5 of 24. They were put to music by Franz Schubert, but this version does not follow the music (I’ve redone one that does).