Die schöne Müllerin (Part 10)

“Da gingen die Augen mir über, / Da ward es im Spiegel so kraus.”

Without notice or transition we’re suddenly isolated with the miller and his beloved. We find them sitting alongside the brook in the middle of the night in the next song in the cycle–––”Tränenregen.”

Wir saßen so traulich beisammen
Im kühlen Erlendach,
Wir schauten so traulich zusammen
Hinab in den rieselnden Bach.

We sat so cozily together
In a cool canopy of alders,
We look so cozily together
Into the rippling brook.

Der Mond war auch gekommen,
Die Sternlein hinterdrein,
Und schauten so traulich zusammen
In den silbernen Spiegel hinein.

The moon, too, had come,
The little stars behind her,
And together we stared cozily
Into the silver mirror.

Ich sah nach keinem Monde,
Nach keinem Sternenschein,
Ich schaute nach ihrem Bilde,
Nach ihren Augen allein.

I espied no moon,
nor any starlight,
I saw only her image,
Her image alone.

Und sahe sie nicken und blicken
Herauf aus dem seligen Bach,
Die Blümlein am Ufer, die blauen,
Sie nickten und blickten ihr nach.

I saw her nod and gaze
Out of the blessed brook,
The little blue flowers on the bank,
They nodded and gazed back at her.

Und in den Bach versunken
Der ganze Himmel schien
Und wollte mich mit hinunter
In seine Tiefe ziehn.

And into the brook
All of heaven seemed to sink
And wanted to pull me along
Down into its deepness.

Und über den Wolken und Sternen,
Da rieselte munter der Bach
Und rief mit Singen und Klingen:
Geselle, Geselle, mir nach!

And over the clouds and stars,
The brook gayly rippled
And called with singing and clinging:
“Friend, friend, come with me!”

Da gingen die Augen mir über,
Da ward es im Spiegel so kraus;
Sie sprach: Es kommt ein Regen,
Ade, ich geh nach Haus.

Then my eyes filled with tears,
And rustled the mirror;
She said: “The rain is coming,
Farewell, I’m going home.”

The miller now gets some time alone with his beloved. The moon and stars join the pair as they stare deep into the silver mirror that is the water of the brook. But the shine of the moon and stars are lost on the miller, who can only stare with enraptured fantasy at the image of his dear milleress in the water. He is so overcome with emotion that his tears drop into the water, disturbing the peaceful water and convincing the milleress that the rain had come out.

In translating these lines for this blog post, I noticed for the first time some subtle foreshadowing in the fifth stanza. “Und in den Bach versunken / Der ganze Himmel schien / Und wollte mich mit hinunter / In seine Tiefe ziehn.” These lines will be starkly fulfilled at the end of the cycle, which we’ll see in the last post in this series. 

I must also wonder how these two got in this situation? Did the milleress finally fall for the miller and willingly came along (perhaps even instigated the rendezvous), or did the miller slyly trick her into coming along with him to the brook? The text never answers that question for us, so we are left to decide for ourselves.