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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 06 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 431 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 06.

  Yet I could not brook thy spurning,
    Nor thy cruel words of scorn;
  Madness in my brain is burning,
    And my heart is sick and torn.

  So I go, downcast and dreary,
    With my pilgrim staff to stray,
  Till I lay my head aweary
    In some cool grave far away.

  2 [3]

  Cliff and castle quiver grayly
    From the mirror of the Rhine
  Where my little boat swims gaily;
    Round her prow the ripples shine.

  Heart at ease I watch them thronging—­
    Waves of gold with crisping crest,
  Till awakes a half-lulled longing
    Cherished deep within my breast.

  Temptingly the ripples greet me
    Luring toward the gulf beneath,
  Yet I know that should they meet me
    They would drag me to my death.

  Lovely visage, treacherous bosom,
    Guile beneath and smile above,
  Stream, thy dimpling wavelet’s blossom
    Laughs as falsely as my love.

  3[4]

  I despaired at first—­believing
    I should never bear it.  Now
  I have borne it—­I have borne it. 
    Only never ask me How.

* * * * *

A LYRICAL INTERMEZZO (1822-23)

1[5]

  ’Twas in the glorious month of May,
    When all the buds were blowing,
  I felt—­ah me, how sweet it was!—­
    Love in my heart a-growing.

  ’Twas in the glorious month of May,
    When all the birds were quiring,
  In burning words I told her all
    My yearning, my aspiring.

2[6]

  Where’er my bitter tear-drops fall,
    The fairest flowers arise;
  And into choirs of nightingales
    Are turned my bosom’s sighs.

  And wilt thou love me, thine shall be
    The fairest flowers that spring,
  And at thy window evermore
    The nightingales shall sing.

3[7]

  The rose and the lily, the moon and the dove,
    Once loved I them all with a perfect love. 
  I love them no longer, I love alone
    The Lovely, the Graceful, the Pure, the One
  Who twines in one wreath all their beauty and love,
    And rose is, and lily, and moon and dove.

4[8]

  Dear, when I look into thine eyes,
  My deepest sorrow straightway flies;
  But when I kiss thy mouth, ah, then
  No thought remains of bygone pain!

  And when I lean upon thy breast,
  No dream of heaven could be more blest;
  But, when thou say’st thou lovest me,
  I fall to weeping bitterly.

5[9]

  Thy face, that fair, sweet face I know,
  I dreamed of it awhile ago;
  It is an angel’s face, so mild—­
  And yet, so sadly pale, poor child!

  Only the lips are rosy bright,
  But soon cold Death will kiss them white,
  And quench the light of Paradise
  That shines from out those earnest eyes.

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