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Waldesnacht, Du Wunderkühle | by WJMcIntosh
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Waldesnacht, Du Wunderkühle

Waldesnacht, du wunderkühle,

Die ich tausend Male grüß',

Nach dem lauten Weltgewühle,

O wie ist dein Rauschen süß!

Träumerisch die müden Glieder

Berg' ich weich ins Moos,

Und mir ist, als würd' ich wieder

All der irren Qualen los.

- Paul Heyse/Johannes Brahms

 

As I was driving through the Von Trapp Family's old neighborhood in Austria, it seemed appropriate that one of their popular songs came to mind. By the time I performed this in high school, the translation had mutated away from the original and we performed this Brahms classic to a set of English lyrics by Henry Drinker:

 

Wondrous cool, thou woodland quiet,

Thee a thousand times I greet;

Far away from rush and riot,

Ah, thy soothing sounds are sweet,.

Dreaming on thy mossy carpet,

Here is rest and peace

Tis as if, beneath thy shadows,

All my cares and troubles cease.

   

This is the song that came to mind as I stepped out of my car on my way to try to shoot the village of Hallstaat. I didn't get the shot I was after as the valley was completely shrouded in fog, but eventually the fog lifted just enough to reveal some of the homes and cabins around the lake. As I got out of the car, all you could hear were the birds and the rustling of the wind. I wouldn't be surprised if Paul Heyse wasn't sitting in the exact same spot when he penned these words over 100 years ago.

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Taken on June 26, 2011