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German poet, author and critic
(1797 - 1856)
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With the rose the butterfly's deep in love,
  A thousand times hovering round;
    But round himself, all tender like gold,
      The sun's sweet ray is hovering found.
      - Book of Songs--New Spring (no. 7)

The nightingale appear'd the first,
  And as her melody she sang,
    The apple into blossom burst,
      To life the grass and violets sprang.
      - Book of Songs--New Spring (no. 9)

As the moon's fair image quaketh
  In the raging waves of ocean,
    Whilst she, in the vault of heaven,
      Moves with silent peaceful motion.
      - Book of Songs--New Spring
         (prologue, no. 23) [Moon]

Tell me who first did kisses suggest?
  It was a mouth all glowing and blest;
    It kissed and it thought of nothing beside.
      The fair month of May was then in its pride,
        The flowers were all from the earth fast springing,
          The sun was laughing, the birds were singing.
      - Book of Songs--New Spring--Prologue
         (no. 25, st. 2) [Kisses]

At Dresden on the Elbe, that handsome city,
  Where straw hats, verses, and cigars are made,
    They've built (it well may make us feel afraid,)
      A music club and music warehouse pretty.
      - Book of Songs--Sonnets--Dresden Poetry

Love's torments made me seek the chase;
  Rifle in hand, I roam'd apace.
    Down from the tree, with hollow scoff,
      The raven cried: "Head-off! head-off!"
      - Book of Songs--Youthful Sorrows (no. 8)

When I lately stood with a friend before [the cathedral of] Amiens, . . . he asked me how it happens that we can no longer build such piles? I replied: "Dear Alphonse, men in those days had convictions (Ueberzeugungen), we moderns have opinions (Meinungen) and it requires something more than an opinion to build a Gothic cathedral.
      - Confidential Letters to August Lewald on the French Stage
         (letter 9), translated by C.G. Leland

In vain would I seek to discover
  Why sad and mournful am I,
    My thoughts without ceasing brood over
      A tale of the time gone by.
        [Ger., Ich weiss nicht was soll es bedeuten,
          Dass ich so traurig bin:
            Ein marchen aus alten Zeiten
              Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.]
      - Die Lorelei, (E.A. Bowring's translation)
        [Story Telling]

Twelve dancers are dancing, and taking no rest,
  And closely their hands together are press'd;
    And soon as a dance has come to a close,
      Another begins, and each merrily goes.
      - Dream and Life [Dancing]

Oh, fair, oh sweet and holy as dew at morning tide,
  I gaze on thee, and yearnings, sad in my bosom hide.
    [Ger., Du bist wie eine Blume, so hold, so schon und rein;
      Ich shau' dich an und Wehmut schleicht mir ins Herz hinein.]
      - Du bist wie eine Blume [Love]

And over the pond are sailing
  Two swans all white as snow;
    Sweet voices mysteriously wailing
      Pierce through me as onward they go.
        They sail along, and a ringing
          Sweet melody rises on high;
            And when the swans begin singing,
              They presently must die.
      - Early Poems--Evening Songs (no. 2) [Swans]

The swan, like the soul of the poet,
  By the dull world is ill understood.
      - Early Poems--Evening Songs (no. 2) [Swans]

Graves they say are warm'd by glory;
  Foolish words and empty story.
      - Latest Poems (epilogue, l. 1) [Graves]

It is an ancient story
  Yet it is ever new.
    [Ger., Es ist eine alte Geschichte,
      Doch bleibt sie immer neu.]
      - Lyrisches Intermezzo (39) [Love]

When'er into thine eyes I see,
  All pain and sorrow fly from me.
    [Ger., Wenn ich in deine Augen sch'
      So schwindet all' mein Leid und Weh.]
      - Lyrisches Intermezzo (IV) [Eyes]

Those blue violets, her eyes.
  [Ger., Die blauen Veilschen der Aeugelein.]
      - Lyrisches Intermezzo (XXXI) [Eyes]

I everywhere am thinking
  Of thy blue eyes' sweet smile;
    A sea of blue thoughts is spreading
      Over my heart the while.
      - New Spring (pt. XVIII, st. 2) [Eyes]

I call'd the devil, and he came,
  And with wonder his form did I closely scan;
    He is not ugly, and is not lame,
      But really a handsome and charming man.
        A man in the prime of life is the devil,
          Obliging, a man of the world, and civil;
            A diplomatist too, well skill'd in debate,
              He talks quite glibly of church and state.
      - Pictures of Travels--The Return Home
         (no. 37) [Devil]

The arrow belongs not to the archer when it has once left the bow; the word no longer belongs to the speaker when it has once passed his lips, especially when it has been multiplied by the press.
      - Religion and Philosophy (preface) [Words]

The oaks with solemnity shook their heads;
  The twigs of the birch-trees, in token
    Of warning, nodded,--and I exclaim'd:
      "Dear Monarch, forgive what I've spoken!"
      - Songs--Germany (caput XVII) [Oak]

The air grows cool and darkles,
  The Rhine flows calmly on;
    The mountain summit sparkles
      In the light of the setting sun.
      - The Lorelei [Rhine River]

And yonder sits a maiden,
  The fairest of the fair,
    With gold in her garment glittering,
      And she combs her golden hair.
      - The Lorelei (st. 3) [Hair]

And once again we plighted our troth,
  And titter'd, caress'd, kiss'd so dearly.
      - Youthful Sorrows (no. 57, st. 2) [Love]

In blissful dream, in silent night,
  There came to me, with magic might,
    With magic might, my own sweet love,
      Into my little room above.
      - Youthful Sorrows (pt. VI, st. 1) [Dreams]

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