Heine, Heinrich - The North Sea - By the sea, the dreary nocturnal sea
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Poems Selected from Heinrich Heine – by Kate Freiligrath Kroeker
From the North Sea
By the sea, the dreary nocturnal sea
Stands a stripling man
His breast full of sorrow, his head full of doubt
And with gloomy lips he asks of the waters
'Oh solve me the riddle of life
That harrowing, world old riddle
Whereon many heads have pondered and brooded
Head in caps hieroglyphic-scribbled
Heads in turbans, and heads in black beavers
Heads periwigged and a thousand others
Poor aching heads
Tell me – what signifies man?
Whence has he come? And whither goes he?
Who dwells upon the golden stars?'
The waves they murmur their endless babble
The wind it blows and the clouds they wander
The stars they glitter coldly indifferent
And a fool waits for an answer