She vanished over the side of the vessel. Whether she plunged into the stream or flowed away with it, they knew not; her disappearance was like both and neither. Soon, however, she was completely lost sight of in the Danube; only a few little waves kept whispering, as if sobbing, round the boat, and they almost seemed to be saying: “Oh woe, woe! Oh, remain true! Oh, woe!”
Huldbrand lay on the deck of the vessel, bathed in hot tears, and a deep swoon presently cast its veil of forgetfulness over the unhappy man.
* * * * *
CAVALRYMAN’S MORNING SONG (1826)
Shalt thou light me o’er Death’s bourn?
Soon will ring the trumpet’s call;
Then may I be marked to fall,
I and many a comrade brave!
Pleasure drops into the void.
Yesterday on champing stallion;
Picked today for Death’s battalion;
Couched tomorrow in the grave!
Ah! how soon
Fleeth grace and beauty’s noon!
Hast thou pride in cheeks aglow,
Whereon cream and carmine flow?
Ah! the loveliest rose turns sere!
I respond to God’s high will.
To the last stern fight I’ll fit me;
If to Death I must submit me,
Dies a dauntless cavalier!
* * * * *
THE SENTINEL (1827)
Lonely at night my watch I keep,
While all the world is hush’d in sleep.
Then tow’rd my home my thoughts will rove;
I think upon my distant love.
[Illustration: WILHELM HAUFF]
When to the wars I march’d away,
My hat she deck’d with ribbons gay;
She fondly press’d me to her heart,
And wept to think that we must part.
[Illustration: THE SENTINAL]
Truly she loves me, I am sure,
So ev’ry hardship I endure;
My heart beats warm, though cold’s the night;
Her image makes the darkness bright.
Now by the twinkling taper’s gleam,
Her bed she seeks, of me to dream,
But ere she sleeps she kneels to pray
For one who loves her far away.
For me those tears thou needst not shed;
No danger fills my heart with dread;
The pow’rs who dwell in heav’n above
Are ever watchful o’er thy love.
The bell peals forth from yon watch-tower;
The guard it changes at this hour.
Sleep well! sleep well! my heart’s with thee;
And in your dreams remember me.
* * * * *
BARBAROSSA (Between 1814 and 1817)
The ancient Barbarossa,
Friedrich, the Kaiser great,
Within the castle-cavern
Sits in enchanted state.
He did not die; but ever
Waits in the chamber deep,
Where hidden under the castle
He sat himself to sleep.