>An Alpine Poem For Advent

>O Du stille Zeit (Joseph von Eichendorff)

O Du stille Zeit,
kommst eh wir’s gedacht
über die Berge weit,
gute Nacht!

In der Einsamkeit,
rauscht es nun so sacht
über die Berge weit,
gute Nacht!

O you quiet time
you come before we know it
over the far off mountains,
good night!

In the solitude
it sweeps now so softly
over the far off mountains,
good night!

There is a beautiful musical setting of this poem by Cesar Bresgen which I particularly like.

An American reader may well wonder what this has to do with Advent, but here it is traditionally known as “the quiet time”, and although the shopping insanity is going on here too, as darkness falls on the 24th everything is going to get very, very quiet. People go home and try to spend a quiet and reflective evening with their families, then go to midnight mass. There is something magical about coming home from a late church gig and hearing a quartet of brass (or Waldhorns!) playing Stille Nacht in the darkness.

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