Now all the woods are sleeping

Now all the woods are sleeping. Paul Gerhardt* (1607-1676), translated by Catherine Winkworth* (1827-1878). From Lyra Germanica I (Second Edition, 1856), where it replaces the translation ‘Now rest the woods again’ in the First Edition of LG I (1855). It is perhaps the most faithful and beautiful of the many translations of Gerhardt’s much-loved ‘Nun ruhen alle Wälder’*. It was the second of the ‘Evening Hymns’, following Nikolaus Herman*’s ‘The happy sunshine all is gone’. It had nine stanzas, faithfully reflecting the poet’s thoughts as he prepares for bed. It began:     Now all the woods are sleeping,     And night and stillness creeping O’er field and city, man and beast;     But...

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