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« Preface to Les Diaboliques | Main | Immortal Beloved »

Tieck, "Herbstlied"

A Romantic poem ("Autumnal song") by this German man of letters.  You can read the original here.

Once toward this field a bird did fly
And sang in mirthful sunshine pure.
With wondrous, sweetest tones it cried:
"Come forth and leave this soft allure!"
So I'd depart by end of day.

When heard I rapt the field-strewn lyre,
Then joy and fear both took their hold;
O happy pain, O dampened fire!
My ardor rose to fall back cold.
Does pain or joy my heart then flay?

So as I saw the leaves descend
I knew that Fall at last had come.
No summer guest, the swallow's end.
What will then love and lust become?
So fast, so fast, makes time its way.

Yet summer's sun returned again,
As did the bird I once espied.
And gazing at my tear-strewn mien
"Love knows no winter," it replied,
"Spring's shown its face, fear not this lay."

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