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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.]

ELLENORE.
At break of day, from frightful dreams,

Upstarted Ellenore;
“My William, art thou slain ? ” she said,

“ Or dost thou love no more ?

He went abroad, with Richard's host,

The Paynim foes to quell;
But he no word to her had writ,

An he were sick or well.

With blore of trump, and thump of drum,

His fellow-soldiers come ;
Their helms bedeckt with oaken boughs,

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,
And cast herself upon the ground,

In furious despair.

Her mother ran and lift her up,

And clasped in her arm ;
“My child ! my child! what dost thou ail ?

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 ! * *

*
“O mother, mother! gone is gone,

My hope is all forlorn;
The grave my only safeguard is, —

O, had I ne'er been born!

“Go out, go out, my lamp of life!

In grizzly darkness die !
There is no mercy, sure, above!

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,
From rise of morn till the pale stars

Again o'erspread the sky.
When, hark! abroad she heard the tramp

Of nimble-footed steed;
She heard a knight with clank alight,

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:-
“What ho! what ho! thy door undo!

Art watching, or asleep?
My love, dost yet remember me?
And dost thou laugh or weep?"

“ 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 :
I mounted late, but soon I go -

Arise, and come with me.
*
*

*
“ All as thou liest upon thy couch,.
Arise and mount behind;

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 horse and rider snort and blow,

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;
I snuff the early morning air; -

Down, down!-our work is done. “The dead, the dead can ride apace;

Our wed-bed here is fit;
Our race is rid, our journey o'er,

Our endless union knit!”
And, lo! an iron-grated gate

Soon-biggens to their view;
He cracked his whip; the locks, the bolts,

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;
And in his withered hand you might

The scythe and hour-glass see!
And, lo! his steed did thin to smoke,

And charnel-fires outbreathe;
And paled, and bleached, then vanished quite

The maid from underneath !
And hollow howlings hung in air,

And shrieks from vaults arose;
Then knew the maid she might no more

Her living eyes unclose!
But onward to the judgment-seat,

Through mist and moonlight drear,
The ghostly crew their flight pursue,

And halloo in her ear :
“Be patient; though thine heart should break,

Arraign not Heaven's decree;
Thou now art of thy body reft, —

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.
Who rideth so late through the night-wind wild ?
It is the father with his child:
He has the little one well in his arm;
He holds him safe, and he folds him warm.

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