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.


The Rejected Lover


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.


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.


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.


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.