By the sea, the desolate night-time sea
Stands someone, nearing manhood;
His mind is full of doubts, his heart of melancholy;
His lips ask the waves, in the sadest mood:

“Oh, solve me the mystery of life, its riddle,
This eternal and agonising puzzle,
Over which so many heads have brooded,
Heads with caps, heads that were hooded,
Heads in turbans, in black birettas, periwigged
And many a thousand, sweating human head.
Tell me, what is the meaning of humanity?
Where did man come from? What is his destiny?
And who lives in the golden stars in the sky?”

The waves murmur with an eternal sigh,
The wind blows, the clouds continue to flee,
The stars twinkle, cold, indifferently,
And a fool waits for an answer….


Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)




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