Context: The German title of the poem is “An die Entfernte”, translated here as “The Distant One”. Written in 1788 and published one year later in Goethes Schriften. Achter Band, G. J. Göschen. 1789; it’s also known as one of Goethes famous Songes (Lieder) and Schubert made some nice music of it. This is my own very humble translation into English.
Themes: Love, obsession, lost love, unanswered love
To the Distant One
So, have I really lost you?
Are you, o Beautiful, flown away from me?
Still, it rings familiar in the ears
Every word, every tune.
Just as the walker’s eye in the morning
In vain pierces into the air
When hidden in the blue space
high above him the lark sings:
So pierces anxiously here and there,
Through field and bush and forest, my view:
For you all my songs sings,
O come, my beloved, back to me!
wikipedia.org [various entries]
The poem in German to be found here [wikisource]