The Pilgrimage To Kevlaar.
AT the window stood the mother,
“I am so ill, O mother,
“Get up; we will to Kevlaar,
They wave the broad church-banners,
The mother follows the pilgrims,
The Mother of God at Kevlaar
And all the poor sick people
And who a wax hand offers,
To Kevlaar went many on crutches,
The mother took a wax-light,
Sighing he took the wax heart
“Thou blessèd among women,
“I lived with my dear mother
“And next to us lived Maggie,
“Heal thou my heart sore wounded,
The sick son and his mother
She bent down over the sick one,
The mother saw all in her dreaming,
There lay outstretched beside her
The mother folded her hands then,
I KNOW not what evil is coming,
But my heart feels sad and cold;
A song in my head keeps humming,
A tale from the times of old.
The air is fresh and it darkles,
The loveliest wonderful Maiden
With a golden comb sits combing,
It hath caught the boatman, and bound him
The waves through the pass sweep swinging,
ALL sadly through the stern ravine rode
The Mountain Voice.
There rode a horseman brave:
“Ah! draw I near to my darling’s arms,
Or near to the gloomy grave?”
The echo answer gave:
“To the gloomy grave!”
And as the horseman onward rode
Slowly adown the rider’s cheek
FOR many thousand ages|
The steadfast stars above
Have gazed upon each other
With ever-mournful love.
They speak a certain language,
But I have learned it, learned it
IN the Rhine, in the beautiful river,|
The mighty shadow is thrown,
With its great cathedral,
Of holy and great Cologne.
One picture in the cathedral,
The dear Madonna, with floating
THE LOTUS-FLOWER doth languish|
Beneath the sun’s fierce light;
With drooping head she waiteth
All dreamily for night.
She blooms and glows and brightens,
THE WORLD is dull, the world is blind,|
And daily grows more silly!
It says of you, my lovely child,
You are not quite a lily.
The world is dull, the world is blind,
I BLAME thee not, a broken heart my lot,|
O Love for ever lost! I blame thee not.
Though thou art splendid with the diamonds bright,
There falls no gleam within thy heart’s deep night.
I’ve known this long. I saw thee in clear dream,
Yes, thou art wretched, and I blame thee not;—
I see the scorn which round thy pale lip weaves,
In secret round thy mouth a pain-thrill steals,
THE VIOLETS blue of the eyes divine,|
And the rose of the cheeks as red as wine,
And the lilies white of the hands so fine,
They flourish and flourish from year to year,
And only the heart is withered and sere.
THE EARTH is so fair and the heaven so blue,|
And the breeze is breathing so warmly too,
And the flowers of the meadow are gleaming through
The sparkling and glittering morning dew,
And the people are joyous wherever I view:
Yet would were I in the grave at rest
Folded close to my lost Love’s breast.
I GAZED upon her picture,|
Absorbed in dreams of gloom,
Till those belovèd features
Began to breathe and bloom.
About her lips came wreathing
And my tears sprang then also,
A PINE-TREE standeth lonely|
In the North on an upland bare;
It standeth whitely shrouded
With snow, and sleepeth there:
It dreameth of a palm-tree,
MY DARLING, thou art flowerlike,|
So tender, pure, and fair;
I gaze on thee, and sadness
Steals on me unaware:
I yearn to lay my hands then
“SAY, where is the maiden sweet,|
Whom you once so sweetly sung,
When the flames of mighty heat
Filled your heart and fired your tongue?”
Ah, those flames no longer burn;
THE OLD dream comes again to me|
With May-night stars above,
We two sat under the linden-tree
And swore eternal love.
Again and again we plighted troth,
O darling with the eyes serene,
MY DARLING, we sat together,|
We two in our frail boat;
The night was calm o’er the wide sea
Whereon we were afloat.
The Spectre-Island, the lovely,
It sounded sweet and sweeter,
MY HEART, my heart is mournful,|
Yet joyously shines the May;
I stand by the linden leaning,
High on the bastion grey.
The blue town-moat thereunder
Beyond, like a well-known picture,
The maidens bleach the linen,
Upon the hoary tower
He trifles with his musket,
BY the sea, by the desert midnight sea,
Stands a youth,
His heart full of anguish, his head full of doubt,
And with sullen lips he questions the waves:—
“Oh, Oh, solve to me the Riddle of Life,
The waves murmur their everlasting murmur,
AS I each day in the morning|
Pass by that house of thine,
It gives me joy, thou darling,
When you at the window shine.
Your dark brown eyes they ask me,
I am a German poet,
And what ails me, thou darling,
YOU lovely fisher-maiden,|
Bring now the boat to land:
Come here and sit beside me,
We’ll prattle hand in hand.
Your head lay on my bosom,
My heart is like the sea, dear,
THE MOON is fully risen,|
And shineth over the sea;
And I embrace my darling,
Our hearts swell free.
In the arms of the lovely maiden
“That is no breeze’s sighing,
WHERE shall once the wanderer weary
Meet his resting-place and shrine?
Under palm-trees by the Ganges?
Under lindens of the Rhine?
Shall I somewhere in the desert
Ever onward! God’s wide heaven
THE POOR Soul speaketh to its Clay
Body and Soul.
I cannot leave thee thus; I’ll stay
With thee, with thee in death will sink
And black Annihilation drink.
Thou still hast been my second I,
Embracing me so lovingly;
A satin feast-robe round my form
Doubled with ermine soft and warm.
Woe’s me! I dare not face the fact—
Quite disembodied, quite abstract,
To loiter as a blessèd Naught
Above there in the realm of Thought,
Through Heavenly halls immense and frigid,
Where the Immortals dumb and rigid
Yawn to me as they clatter by
With leaden clogs so wearily.
Oh, it is horrible! Oh, stay,
Stay with me, thou beloved Clay!
The Body to the poor Soul said:
1. In the German, Moon, Der Mond, is masculine; and Sun, Die Sonne, feminine. [back]
2. Not the worst instances of woe; else this would be peculiar which he has just declared common: but the worst kinds of woe; thus claiming for his people unusual sensibility, or hinting that they are inordinately oppressed. [back]