This is a part of a Karoline von Günderrode poem:

O Nein! es hat die Sonne sie geküßt.
Die Sonne sank, und Abendnebel thauen.
Kann sie die Strahlende nicht mehr erschauen,
Wird ihre Nacht durch Sternenschein versüßt.
Sah sie den Tag nicht oft im Ost verglühen?
Sah sie die Nacht nicht thränend still entfliehen?
Und Tag und Nacht sind schöner doch als ich.
Doch flieht ein Tag, ein Andrer kehret wieder;
Stirbt eine Nacht, sinkt eine Neue nieder
Denn Tröstung gab Natur in jedem Schönen sich.

I would like to know what the last line means. It's the sich that is confusing me, as well as the in jedem Schönen. If it were Denn Tröstung gab Natur zu jedem Schönen then it would be simple: "...because nature gives to every beautiful [one] comfort" ... but I'm not sure that is what is meant by KvG. If you say es gibt sich, then that would be "there exists". But now I'm just more confused. Help, please.


2 Answers 2


Directly preceding the part you quoted, Violetta posits:

Und traurig wird die Blume dann vergehen
Muß sie sich so von dir verlassen sehen! (source)

The reply by Narziß seeks to refute this. When the sun leaves the flower, it is consoled by starlight. The flower has experienced this cycle of day ending and night beginning many times without dying off. It even cries when night leaves it, showing that it loves not only the sun, but night as well. It therefore can easily tolerate Narziß leaving it.

The final line encapsulates this as a principle: Nature gave to itself consolation in everything that is beautiful. Note that in jedem Schönen can grammatically be either masculine or neuter, but the context makes clear it is neuter, which means it denotes beauty in the abstract (das Schöne), not a beautiful person (der/die Schöne).

So the sich is simply the recipient of the giving – nature itself. The prepositional phrase says what the consolation consists in – everything that is beautiful.


It is indeed not that easy. I interpreted it as follows:

In the lines before, the poem is talking about constant change in nature. "A night dies, a new one [will] come" (not a direct translation). So while nature and most other things are subject to change, there are beautiful things to make up for this, and change may be for the better. I think the lines:

"Kann sie die Strahlende nicht mehr erschauen

Wird ihre Nacht durch Sternenschein versüßt"

support this view. So nature changes, but in change there may be other beautiful things. So I suggest the following indirect translation: "Through all [of its] beauty, nature consoled / comforted itself."

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