Category Archives: Ludwig Achim Von Arnim


Ludwig Achim von Arnim: “The Rejected Lover”

Excerpt, “The Poetry of Germany, Consisting from Upwards of Seventy of the Most Celebrated Poets.”  Translated into English Verse by Alfred Baskerville.  1853.

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The Rejected Lover

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Night’s shades, o’er-darkening the spheres,

Man from his fellow man conceal;

So may I revel in my tears,

And to my lov’d one’s lattice steal.

The watchman tells the passing hour,

The sick one wails his pains and woes,

Love’s anguish rings in lonely bower,

And by the corpse the taper glows.

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My love this day to me hath died,

What time she wedded with my foe;

My love do I in sorrow hide

Tears like the stars unnumbered flow.

What soothing rays gleam from each star!

How painful is yon window’s light!

Thick mists rest o’er the vale afar,

And round me phantoms wing their flight.

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Wild echoes in the house resound;

The silent crowd yield at my view,

By pity moved, they group around.

Am I then but as one of you?

I hide by day in wood and grove,

The sombre night hath set me free,

A lovely morn awakes my love,

And leaves to endless sorrow me.

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How oft I’ve sat and bless’d my lot,

Till all the stars waxed pale at morn!

Now by the world am I forgot,

Since she hath left me thus forlorn.

No more the earth to heed me seems,

My breast no glowing sunbeam cheers,

Oppressive are the morning beams,

Night is the fountain of my tears.

 

 

 

Ludwig Achim von Arnim/Clemens Brentano: “The Tailor in Hell”

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THE TAILOR IN HELL

A tailor 'gan to wander
One Monday morning fair,
And then he met the devil,
Whose feet and legs were bare:
Hallo, thou tailor-fellow,
Come now with me to hell--oh,
And measure clothes for us to wear,
For what we will, is well, oh!

The tailor measured, then he took
His scissors long, and clipped
The devils' little tails all off,
And to and fro they skipped.
Hallo, thou tailor-fellow,
Now hie thee out of hell--oh,
We do not need this clipping, sir,
For what we will, is well, oh!

The tailor took his iron out,
And tossed it in the fire;
The devils' wrinkles then he pressed;
Their screams were something dire.
Hallo, thou tailor-fellow,
Begone now from our hell--oh,
We do not need this pressing,
For what we will, is well, oh!

"Keep still!" he said and pierced their heads
With a bodkin from his sack.
"This way we put the buttons on,
For that's our tailor's knack!"
Hallo, thou tailor-fellow,
Now get thee out of hell--oh,
We do not need this dressing,
For what we will, is well, oh!

With thimble and with needle then
His stitching he began,
And closed the devils' nostrils up
As tight as e'er one can.

Hallo, thou tailor-fellow,
Now get thee out of hell--oh,
We cannot use our noses,
Do what we will for smell, oh!

Then he began to cut away--
It must have made them smart;
With all his might the tailor ripped
The devils' ears apart.
Hallo, thou tailor-fellow,
Now march away from hell--oh,
We else should need a doctor,
If what we will were well--oh!

And last of all came Lucifer
And cried: "What horror fell!
No devil has his little tail;
So drive him out of hell."
Hallo, thou tailor-fellow,
Now hie thee out of hell--oh,
We need to wear no clothes at all--
For what we will, is well, oh!

And when the tailor's sack was packed,
He felt so very well--oh!
He hopped and skipped without dismay
And had a laughing spell, oh!
And hurried out of hell--oh,
And stayed a tailor-fellow;
And the devil will catch no tailor now,
Let him steal, as he will--it is well, though!
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Arnim/Brentano: “The Mountaineer”

Excerpt, “THE BOY’S MAGIC HORN” BY Ludwig Achim Von Arnim and Clemens Brentano. 1806. Translated by Margarete Munsterberg.

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The Boy’s Magic Horn

THE MOUNTAINEER

 Oh, would I were a falcon wild,
I should spread my wings and soar;
Then I should come a-swooping down
By a wealthy burgher's door.

In his house there dwells a maiden,
She is called fair Magdalene,
And a fairer brown-eyed damsel
All my days I have not seen.

On a Monday morning early,
Monday morning, they relate,
Magdalene was seen a-walking
Through the city's northern gate.

Then the maidens said: "Thy pardon--
Magdalene, where wouldst thou go?"
"Oh, into my father's garden,
Where I went the night, you know."

And when she to the garden came,
And straight into the garden ran,
There lay beneath the linden-tree
Asleep, a young and comely man.

"Wake up, young man, be stirring,
Oh rise, for time is dear,
I hear the keys a-rattling,
And mother will be here."

"Hearst thou her keys a-rattling,
And thy mother must be nigh,
Then o'er the heath this minute
Oh come with me, and fly!"

And as they wandered o'er the heath,
There for these twain was spread,
A shady linden-tree beneath,
A silken bridal-bed.

And three half hours together,
They lay upon the bed.
"Turn round, turn round, brown maiden;
Give me thy lips so red!"

"Thou sayst so much of turning round,
But naught of wedded troth,
I fear me I have slept away
My faith and honor both."

"And fearest thou, thou hast slept away
Thy faith and honor too,
I say I'll wed thee yet, my dear,
So thou shalt never rue."

Who was it sang this little lay,
And sang it o'er with cheer?
On St. Annenberg by the town,
It was the mountaineer.

He sang it there right gaily,
Drank mead and cool red wine,
Beside him sat and listened
Three dainty damsels fine.

As many as sand-grains in the sea,
As many as stars in heaven be,
As many as beasts that dwell in fields,
As many as pence which money yields,
As much as blood in veins will flow,
As much as heat in fire will glow,
As much as leaves in woods are seen
And little grasses in the green,
As many as thorns that prick on hedges,
As grains of wheat that harvest pledges,
As much as clover in meadows fair,
As dust a-flying in the air,
As many as fish in streams are found,
And shells upon the ocean's ground,
And drops that in the sea must go,
As many as flakes that shine in snow--
As much, as manifold as life abounds both far and nigh,
So much, so many times, for e'er, oh thank the Lord on high!