Could all Europe now but see him, so engaging,
How the ladies, young and old, his winning smiles delight, enchant;
How the church’s pious clergy, and the doughty men of war,
And the state’s distinguished servants by his grace enraptured are.
Man of state and man of counsel, since
you’re in a mood so kind,
Since you’re showing to all present such a gracious frame of mind,
See, without, a needy client standing waiting at your door
Whom the slightest sign of favor will make happy evermore.
And you do not need to fear him; he’s
intelligent and fair;
Hidden ’neath his homely garments, knife nor dagger does he wear.
’Tis the Austrian people, open, honest, courteous as can be.
See, they’re pleading: “May we ask you for the freedom to be free?”
* * * * *
[Illustration: NICOLAUS LENAU]
Eye of darkness, dim dominioned,
Stay, enchant me with thy might,
Earnest, gentle, dreamy-pinioned,
Sweet, unfathomable night.
With magician’s mantle cover
All this day-world from my sight,
That for aye thy form may hover
O’er my being, lovely night.
* * * * *
SEDGE SONGS (1832)
In the west the sun departing
Leaves the weary day asleep,
And the willows trail their streamers
In these waters still and deep.
Flow, my bitter tears, flow ever;
All I love I leave behind;
Sadly whisper here the willows,
And the reed shakes in the wind.
Into my deep lonely sufferings
Tenderly you shine afar,
As athwart these reeds and rushes
Trembles soft yon evening star.
Oft at eve I love to saunter
Where the sedge sighs drearily,
By entangled hidden footpaths,
Love! and then I think of thee.
When the woods gloom dark and darker,
Sedges in the night-wind moan,
Then a faint mysterious wailing
Bids me weep, still weep alone.
And methinks I hear it wafted,
Thy sweet voice, remote yet clear,
Till thy song, descending slowly,
Sinks into the silent mere.
Angry sunset sky,
Every breeze doth fly,
Sultry air and dead.
From the lurid storm
Pallid lightnings break,
Their swift transient form
Flashes through the lake.
And I seem to see
Thyself, wondrous nigh—
Streaming wild and free
Thy long tresses fly.
* * * * *
[Illustration: EVENING ON THE SHORE HANS AM ENDE]
SONGS BY THE LAKE (1832)