Novalis, Novalis poetry, Secular or Eclectic, Secular or Eclectic poetry, Romantic poetry,  poetry, Christian poetry Novalis
Germany (1772 - 1801) Timeline
Secular or Eclectic : Romantic
Christian : Protestant

Poems by Novalis
Books - Links

Novalis was the pen name of Friedrich Leopold, Baron von Hardenberg. He took the name from "de Novali" which was an old family name.

As his title suggests, the future Baron von Hardenberg was born into a noble German family in lower Saxony. He was sent to a religious school as a boy, but he balked at the strict atmosphere. He later lived with his uncle who introduced him to the French literature and rational philosophy.

In the 1790s, the ideas of the French Revolution spread among idealistic intellectual circles throughout Europe, greatly inspiring the young Novalis. He was also deeply moved by reading the mystical philosophical writings of Goethe.

When Novalis was a young man, he fell in love with a teenaged girl named, appropriately enough, Sophie (the goddess of wisdom, the feminine embodiment of the divine in Western gnostic traditions). His experience of love for the young woman was so deep that it became a transformative, one could say "mystical" experience for the young Novalis. But, sadly, Sophie died two years later.

This loss inspired his Hymns to the Night collection of prose and poetry and aphorisms in praise of the sacred encounters with nature, night, sleep, and the magnetic connection between the masculine and the feminine.

He died at the age of 29 of tuberculosis.

Novalis was one of the early German Romantics, and he is sometimes referred to as "the prophet of the Romantics."

Poems by Novalis

Recommended Books: Novalis

News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness Hymns to the Night: Spiritual Songs Hymns to the Night Novalis: Philosophical Writings The Novices of Sais

Related Links


A good, brief biography.

Novalis Online

Some translated writings by Novalis, an article on Novalis by Thomas Carlisle, and links.

The Novalis Society

German-language site with extensive information on Novalis.

Novalis: Hymns to the Night

The full text of Hymns to the Night in English.