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GOTTFRIED AUGUST BÜRGER. 1748-1794.
Bürger, from his youth, was irregular in his habits, and suffered much misfortune through life. He was unhappy in three marriages, and finally died in circumstances of great wretchedness. He was extensively acquainted with the literature of other countries, and devoted himself to the cultivation of poetry. His Ballads rank among the first in the German language. Ellenore is considered the best of them.
[Translated from the German, by W. Taylor.]
“ Or dost thou love no more ?”
He went abroad, with Richard's host,
The Paynim foes to quell;
An he were sick or well.
With blore of trump, and thump of drum,
His fellow-soldiers come ;
They seek their longed-for home.
“Thank God!” their wives and children said;
“Welcome !" the brides did say; But greet or kiss gave Ellenore
To none, upon that day.
And when the soldiers all were by,
She tore her raven hair,
In furious despair.
Her mother ran and lift her up,
And clasped in her arm ;
God shield, thy life from harm !"
“O mother, mother! William 's gone!
What's all beside to me? There is no mercy, sure, above !
All, all were spared but he ! * *
My hope is all forlorn;
O, had I ne'er been born!
“Go out, go out, my lamp of life!
In grizzly darkness die !
Forever let me lie!”
* And so despair did rave and rage
Athwart her boiling veins ; Against the providence of God
She hurled her impious strains.
She beat her breast, and wrung her hands,
And rolled her tearless eye,
Again o'erspread the sky.
Of nimble-footed steed;
And climb the stair with speed.
And soon she heard a tinkling hand,
That twirléd at the pin ; And through her door, that opened not,
These words were breathéd in:-
Art watching, or asleep?
“ Ah! William, here so late at night?
0, I have watched and waked! Whence art thou come? For thy return
My heart has sorely ached."
“At midnight only we may ride;
I come o'er land and sea :
Arise, and come with me.
hindano To-night we'll ride a thousand miles,
The bridal bed to find !”
· "And where is, then, thy house and home,
And bridal bed so neat ?" “ 'T is narrow, silent, chilly, low,
Six planks, one shrouding sheet.” '
All in her sarke as there she lay,
Upon his horse she sprung; And with her lily hands so pale 1. About her William clung.
And, hurry-skurry, off they go,
Unheeding wet or dry;
And sparkling pebbles fly.
* Tramp, tramp, across the land they speed;
Splash, splash, across the sea : “Hurrah! the dead can ride apace;
Dost fear to ride with me?”
How swift the hill, how swift the dale,
Aright, aleft, are gone! By hedge and tree, by thorp and town, · They gallop, gallop on. *
* * * And brush, brush, brush, a ghostly crew
Came wheeling o'er their heads, All rustling, like the withered leaves
That wide the whirlwind spreads.
“I ween the cock prepares to crow;
The sand will soon be run;
Down, down!-our work is done. “The dead, the dead can ride apace;
Our wed-bed here is fit;
Our endless union knit!”
Soon-biggens to their view;
Cling, clang! asunder flew.
They pass, - and 't was on graves they trod :
" 'T is hither we are bound :” And many a tombstone ghastly white
Lay in the moonshine round.
And when he from his steed alight,
His armor, black as cinder, Did moulder, moulder all away,
As were it made of tinder.
His head became a naked skull;
Nor hair, nor eye had he.; His body grew a skeleton,
Whilom so blithe of ble.
And at his dry and bony heel
No spur was left to be;
The scythe and hour-glass see!
And charnel-fires outbreathe;
The maid from underneath !
And shrieks from vaults arose;
Her living eyes unclose!
Through mist and moonlight drear,
And halloo in her ear :
Arraign not Heaven's decree;
Thy soul forgiven be!"
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE. 1749–1832.
From a child, Goethe was favorably situated for the development of his talents; his love of art was cultivated by the pictures and engravings with which his father's house was filled. "His works embrace almost every department of literature, and many of the sciences. They have exercised an immense influence, not only in Germany, but over the whole civilized world. His countrymen are fond of calling him the Many-sided." He was born in Frankfort-on-the-Mayn ; but the greater part of his life was spent at Weimar, at the Court of the Grand Duke.
[Translated from the German.)
THE ERL KING.