Theodor Körner: “Addressed to a Lady”

woman in library1.


Farewell, farewell, with silent grief of heart.
I breathe adieu, to follow duty now;
And if a silent tear unbidden start,
It will not, love, disgrace a soldier’s brow.

Where’er I roam, should joy my path illume,
Or death entwine the garland of the tomb.
Thy lovely form shall float my path above,
And guide my soul to rapture and to love!


O hail and bless, sweet spirit of my life,
The ardent zeal that sets my soul on fire;
That bids me take a part in yonder strife,
And for the sword, awhile, forsake the lyre.


For, see, thy minstrel’s dreams were not all vain
Which he so oft hath hallow’d in his strain;
O see the patriot-strife at length awake!
There let me fly, and all its toils partake.

The victor’s joyous wreath shall bloom more bright
That’s pluck’d amid the joys of love and song
And my young spirit hails with pure delight
The hope fulfill’d which hath cherish’d Song.

Let me but struggle for my country’s good,
E’en though I shed for her my warm life-blood
And now one kiss e’en though the last it prove;
For there can be no death for our true love.