A Fool Awaits an Answer
By the sea, by the desolate nocturnal sea,
Stands a youthful man,
His breast full of sadness, his head full of doubt,
And with bitter lips he questions the waves:
"Oh solve me the riddle of life!
The cruel, world-old riddle,
Concerning which, already many a head hath been racked.
Heads in hieroglyphic-hats,
Heads in turbans and in black caps,
Periwigged heads, and a thousand other
Poor, sweating human heads.
Tell me, what signifies man?
Whence does he come? whither does he go?
Who dwells yonder above the golden stars?"
The waves murmur their eternal murmur,
The winds blow, the clouds flow past,
Cold and indifferent twinkle the stars,
And a fool awaits an answer.
- — Heinrich Heine