German Romantic Poets

Hardcover
$20.00 US
4.47"W x 6.52"H x 0.7"D  
On sale Apr 02, 2024 | 256 Pages | 978-1-101-90835-8
| Grades 9-12 + AP/IB
A greatest-hits selection from some of the most popular poets of the Romantic movement, including Goethe, Schiller, Schlegel, and Heine, in a gorgeously jacketed small hardcover

Unlike the more earnest English Romantic poets, followers of the Romantic movement in Germany valued wit and humor along with beauty. Admiration for nature is also prominent in their poetry, and in particular the dramatic forests which still cover large areas of Germany. Love and death crop up repeatedly as themes in such famous works as Goethe’s “Elf King” and Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Characters from myth and folklore abound—most famously Lorelei, an enchantress who is associated with the rock of the same name on the bank of the Rhine, who is featured in several poems in this volume. Also gathered here are such favorites as Hölderlin’s “Bread and Wine,” Schiller’s “The Visit of the Gods,” Eichendorff’s “Nocturne,” and Heine’s “The Magic Month of May,” along with works by the most famous women writers of the Romantic era, including Karoline von Günderrode and Sophie Mereau.

Everyman's Library pursues the highest production standards, printing on acid-free cream-colored paper, with full-cloth cases with two-color foil stamping, decorative endpapers, silk ribbon markers, European-style half-round spines, and a full-color illustrated jacket.
CHARLOTTE LEE is an associate professor of German literature at the University of Cambridge in the UK. View titles by Charlotte Lee
CONTENTS
 
GOTTFRIED AUGUST BÜRGER (1747-1794)
    Excerpt from: William and Helen / Lenore (Tr. Walter Scott)                         
 
JOHANN WOLFGANG GOETHE (1749-1832)
     May Song / Mailied (Tr. John Whaley)                                                         
     Welcome and Farewell / Willkommen und Abschied (Tr. Christopher Middleton)       
     Rosebud in the Heather / Heidenröslein (Tr. John Frederick Nims)                 
     Prometheus / Prometheus (Tr. Michael Hamburger)                                       
     Ganymede / Ganymed (Tr. David Luke)                                                       
     My Peace is Gone / Meine Ruh ist hin, from Faust (Tr. John R. Williams)      
     The Elf King / Erlkönig (Tr. David Luke)                                                     
     Wanderer’s Night Song / Wandrers Nachtlied (Tr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
     Another Night Song / Ein Gleiches (Tr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)          
     Mignon / Kennst du das Land (Tr. John Frederick Nims)                               
     Immense Astonishment / Mächtiges Überraschen (Tr. Christopher Middleton)
     Ecstatic Longing / Selige Sehnsucht (Tr. David Luke)                                   
 
FRIEDRICH SCHILLER (1759-1805)
     The Ideal and Life / Das Ideal und das Leben (Tr. Richard Winston)              
     Evening / Der Abend (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                                       
     The Visit of the Gods / Dithyrambe (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, after Schiller) 
     The Maiden’s Plaint / Des Mädchens Klage (Tr. James Clarence Mangan)      
     Nenia / Nänie (Tr. Alexander Gode)                                                             
     Mountain Song / Berglied (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                                

AUGUST WILHELM SCHLEGEL (1767-1845)
     The Sonnet / Das Sonett (Tr. Roger Paulin)                                                   
      Evening Song for the Distant Beloved / Abendlied für die Entfernte (Tr. Richaed Wigmore)
 
 
FRIEDRICH HÖLDERLIN (1770-1843)
     In the Morning / Des Morgens (Tr. Michael Hamburger)                               
     Bread and Wine (extract) / Brod und Wein  (Tr. Michael Hamburger)             
     Ganymede / Ganymed (Tr. David Constantine)                                             
     The Half of Life / Hälfte des Lebens (Tr. Christopher Middleton)                   
     Remembrance / Andenken (Tr. Christopher Middleton)                                 
     The Ister / Der Ister (Tr. David Constantine)                                                 
 
SOPHIE MEREAU (1770-1806)
     Spring / Frühling (Tr. Walter Arndt)                                                             
     To a Trellised Tree / An einen Baum am Spalier (Tr. Walter Arndt)                
 
FRIEDRICH VON HARDENBERG (‘NOVALIS’, 1772-1801)
   Sacred Songs / Geistliche Lieder
            X    There Come Such Troubled Hours / Es gibt so bange Zeiten                
                                                (Tr. Eilieen Hutchins) 
            XV  Maria / Ich sehe dich in tausend Bildern (Tr. J.W. Thomas)              
     Hymns to Night / Hymnen an die Nacht (Tr. Robert M. Browning)
            II                                                                                                         
            VI  Longing for Death / Sehnsucht nach dem Tode                                                         
     The Hermit’s Song / Gern verweil ich noch im Tale, from Heinrich von Ofterdingen
(Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                                                                                                                                                                
 
FRIEDRICH SCHLEGEL (1772-1829)
     The Boatman / Der Schiffer (Tr. Richard Wigmore)                                        
     Sunset / Tiefer sinket schon die Sonne (Tr. Richard Wigmore)                       
 
LUDWIG TIECK (1773-1853)
     Sweet Darling, Rest in the Shade / Ruhe, Süßliebchen, im Schatten                
            (Tr. Siegbert Prawer)
    Wonder of Love / Wunder der Liebe (Tr. Roger Paulin)                                                         
    Love / Liebe (Tr. Herman Salinger)                                                               
 
CLEMENS BRENTANO (1778-1842)
     Slumber Song / Wiegenlied (Tr. Anne Jennings)                                           
     Evening Serenade / Abendständchen (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                
     Lore Lay / Lore Lay (Tr. Mabel Cotterell)                                                     
     The Spinstress’ Song / Der Spinnerin Lied (Tr. Alexander Gode)                   
     The Forest / O kühler Wald’ (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                            
     Lord! Within Thy Peace I Rest Me / Herr! Ich steh in deinem Frieden            
            (Tr. Mabel Cotterell)
     Holy night, holy night! / Heli’ge Nacht, heil’ge Nacht! (Tr. David B. Dickens)
     Echoes of Beethoven’s Music / Nachklänge Beethovenscher Musik               
(Tr. G.C. Schoolfield)
 
 
KAROLINE VON GÜNDERRODE (1780-1806)
     The Kiss in the Dream / Der Kuss im Traume (Tr. Michael Ferber)                 
     Dedication / Zueignung (Tr. Charlotte Lee)
     The Prime Lament / Die eine Klage (Tr. Walter Arndt)                                  
     Bright Red / Hochroth (Tr. Michael Ferber)                                                   
     The Balloonist / Der Luftschiffer (Tr. Michael Ferber)                                   
 
ADALBERT VON CHAMISSO (1781-1838)
     The Solider / Der Soldat (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)                                   
     Lord Byron’s Last Love / Lord Byrons letzte Liebe (Tr. Michael Ferber)        
 
JUSTINUS KERNER (1786-1862)
     Oppressive Dream / Der schwere Traum (Ikaros) (Tr. John Fitzell)                 
     The Saw-Mill / Der Wandrer in der Sägemühle (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase) 
 
 
LUDWIG UHLAND (1787-1862)
     The Chapel / Die Kapelle (Tr. Charles R. Lambert)                                       
     The Dream / Der Traum (Tr. Charles R. Lambert)                                         
     The Smith / Der Schmied (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                                 
     Spring Faith / Frühlingsglaube (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                         
     The Gossamer / Der Sommerfaden (Tr. Charles R. Lambert)                          
     On the Death of a Child / Auf den Tod eines Kindes (Tr. Oliver Brown)         
 
 
JOSEPH FREIHERR VON EICHENDORFF (1788-1857)
     The Broken Ring / Das zerbrochene Ringlein (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                    
     Dialogue in the Forest / Waldgespräch (Tr. Gerd Gillhoff)                             
     The Joyful Traveller / Der frohe Wandersmann (Tr. Stewart H. Benedict)       
     Prague Students’ Song / Wanderlied der Prager Studenten                               
(Tr. James Edward Tobin)
     Evening / Abend (Tr. Edwin Morgan)                                                             
     Nocturne / Nachts (Tr. Herman Salinger)                                                       
     On the Death of my Child / Auf meines Kindes Tod (Tr. Edward Dvoretzky)    
     Night / Die Nachtblume (Tr. Isabel S. MacInnes)                                          
     Longing / Sehnsucht (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)                                                         
     Night of Moon / Mondnacht (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)                             
     The Hermit / Der Einsiedler (Tr. Meno Spann)                                              
     Wishing Wand / Wünschelrute (Tr. Alison Turner)                                        
     Death Wish / Todeslust (Tr. Robert M. Browning)                                        
 
     Memento mori / Memento mori! (Tr. Robert M. Browning)                           
     The Poet Walks Abroad / Wanderlied (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)               
     Old Age / Das Alter (Tr. Vernon Watkins)                                                    
    
 
FRIEDRICH RÜCKERT (1788-1866)
 
     My Soul, My Heart / Du meine Seele (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                               
     O Stop with me / Du bist die Ruh (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                     
     [Now the sun prepares to rise as brightly] / [Nun will die Sonn’ so hell aufgeh’n]  8 lines
            (Tr. Siegbert Prawer)
     Closing Song / Schlusslied (Tr. Charlotte Lee)
 
WILHELM MÜLLER (1794-1827)
     The Journeyman’s Song / Wanderschaft (Tr. Francis Owen)                          
     The Linden Tree / Der Lindenbaum (Tr. John Fitzell)                                    
 
AUGUST GRAF VON PLATEN-HALLERMÜNDE (1797-1848)
    Truest of Sages Are You to Me / Du bist der wahre Weise mir                        
            (Tr. Edwin Morgan)
         Fain Would I Live in Safest Freedom / Ich möchte gern mich frei bewahren
            (Tr. Edwin Morgan)
     Venetian Sonnets / Sonette aus Venedig (Tr. Edwin Morgan) 
            II                                                                                                         
            VIII                                                                                                     
 
ANNETTE VON DROSTE-HÜLSHOFF (1797-1848)
    The Pond / Der Weiher (Tr. Herman Salinger)                                               
     The House in the Heath / Das Haus in der Heide (Tr. James Edward Tobin)    
     In the Grass / Im Grase (Tr. Jane K. Brown)                                                  
     Moonrise / Mondesaufgang (Tr. Herman Salinger)                                        


HEINRICH HEINE (1797-1856)
 
     [In May, the magic month of May] / [Im wunderschönen Monat Mai]             
            (Tr. Hal Draper)                                                                                   
     [On wings of song] / [Auf Flügeln des Gesanges] (Tr. Hal Draper)                             
     [The lotus flower] / [Die Lotosblume ängstigt] (Tr. Hal Draper)                                 
     [A Youth Once Loved] / [Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen]                             
            (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)
     [They talked of love and devotion] / [Sie saßen und tranken am Teetisch]       
            (Tr. Hal Draper)                                               
     Lorelei / [Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)   
     [The night is still, the streets are dumb] / [Still ist die Nacht, es ruhen die Gassen]  
            (Tr. Hal Draper)           
    [I called the devil and he came] / [Ich rief den Teufel, und er kam]                  
            (Tr. Hal Draper)                                   
     [Ah, those eyes] / [Ach die Augen sind es wieder] (Tr. Hal Draper)                                        
     Sea Apparation / Seegespenst (Tr. Hal Draper)                      
     Memorial Day / Gedächtnisfeier (Tr. Max Knight)                                        
     The Silesian Weavers / Die schlesischen Weber (Tr. T.J. Reed)                      
     Babylonian Sorrows / Babylonische Sorgen (Tr. Herman Salinger)                 
 
NIKOLAUS LENAU (1802-1850)
     The Oak Grove / Der Eichwald (Tr. Dwight Durling)                                    
    [The evening wind in the treetops] / [Der Nachtwind hat in den Bäumen]        
            (Tr. Robert M. Browning)
     Plea / Bitte (Tr. George C. Schoolfield)                                                         
    

EDUARD MÖRIKE (1804-1875)
     In Spring / Im Frühling (Tr. Vernon Watkins)                                               
     To an Aeolian Harp / An eine Äolsharfe (Tr. Christopher Middleton)             
     The Beautiful Beech Tree / Die schöne Buche (Tr. Christopher Middleton)     
     On a Lamp / Auf eine Lampe (Tr. Christopher Middleton)                             
     Reflect, my soul / Denk’ es, o Seele (Tr. Roger Paulin)                                  
     Um Mitternacht / At Midnight (Tr. Joseph B. Dallett)                                    
     To a Christmas-Rose / Auf eine Christblume (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)     
     Prayer / Gebet (Tr. Chrisopher Middleton)                                                    
 
 
 
RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1888)
    So let us die / So stürben wir                                                                                     
(Tr. Andrew Porter – excerpts from Tristan and Isolde)
FOREWORD

The convention in scholarship is to see German Romanticism as starting in the 1790s, with the Schlegel brothers and their circle in Jena, and ending in the 1820s, part way through the career of the great poet Heinrich Heine. This anthology begins earlier and fi nishes later, thereby incorporating crucial influences – without which Romanticism cannot be properly understood – and giving an idea of the legacy of the movement. This is particularly helpful if we wish to develop a sense of the place of German poetry in the broader context of European Romanticism. Indeed, it is perhaps more accurate, though less elegant, to speak of Romanticisms. These flowered at different times. French literary Romanticism, for example, reached its high point a little later than German literary Romanticism. Romantic movements in the various artistic media also had their own trajectories: in Germany, the Romantic era in music peaked later than in literature, and extended as late as Wagner, Bruckner and Mahler. A more generous understanding of the boundaries of German literary Romanticism, therefore, also helps us to understand how developments in poetry relate to those in other art forms.

This collection opens with an excerpt from William and Helen, Sir Walter Scott’s translation of Lenore, a ballad by Gottfried August Bürger. Lenore was very influential in Britain and elsewhere, and it was also in some ways the source of the trend for ballads which the Romantics adopted, via Goethe. The Early Romantic circle from Jena is represented in the poetry of August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis, Ludwig Tieck and Sophie Mereau. The Schlegel brothers provided much of the theoretical impetus behind Early Romanticism, and August Wilhelm’s erudite contributions were particularly important for developments in the lyric. Also of that generation, and kindred to an extent in philosophical terms, was Friedrich Hölderlin, one of the most complex but most brilliant writers in the German language. Next come Clemens Brentano and Karoline von Günderrode. Günderrode was a rare philosophical and poetic talent, whose work is rooted in its time, yet also highly distinctive. Brentano was an especially gifted lyric poet, who was prolific on his own terms, and who also collaborated with Achim von Arnim to produce the famous folk collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn (extracts of which were later set to music by Gustav Mahler). The predilection for folk­style poetry – which was often highly artful – goes back several decades to the infl uence of Johann Gottfried Herder, and before him, Thomas Percy in England. Goethe’s ‘Heidenröslein’ is a particularly famous example of this approach.

Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff represents the peak of later Romantic poetry. He had become closely acquainted with Arnim and Brentano in Heidelberg, and ultimately took Romanticism in a very different direction from that envisioned by the Schlegel brothers. Several other poets of roughly Eichendorff’s generation, such as Adalbert von Chamisso, Justinus Kerner and Ludwig Uhland are also included: they were all popular in Germany and, very often, were beloved of Victorian translators too. Together with Eichendorff, Heinrich Heine is often considered the Romantic poet par excellence. From early in his career, however, his work is poised between admiration for and scepticism of the movement, and his critical distance becomes more marked later on. Although this selection is tipped towards the earlier part of his œuvre, the later, in some ways anti­Romantic part is also represented. With Heine, we have reached the notional end of the Romantic period proper, and Eichendorff was plagued in his later years by the sense that he was becoming outmoded; yet plenty of writers, such as the Austrian poet Nikolaus Lenau, continued to compose in the Romantic idiom. Annette von Droste­Hülshoff and Eduard Mörike are sometimes described as post­Romantic poets, meaning that their poetry still bears the stamp of the Romantic era but, with their own innovations, they also ushered in a new era, even anticipating Modernism. With Richard Wagner, fi nally, the Romantic legacy gathered new momentum: Wagner, who wrote his own libretti, channeled the infl uence of literary Romanticism into his Gesamtkunstwerk (total art work), which moves Romantic opera into modern music.

Germany’s most famous writer and polymath, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, occupies a singular place in all this. There has been a tendency to see Goethe as distinct from the Romantics; for some, his approach was even antithetical to Romanticism. Something similar obtains for his great friend and collaborator, Friedrich Schiller. There are evident differences between their work and (say) that of the Schlegels. Yet there was signifi cant mutual infl uence, in particular between Goethe and the fi rst generation of Romantics, and both Goethe and Schiller shared many of the intellectual interests which drove Early Romanticism. Indeed, with his early pre­Romantic works such as ‘May Song’ (1771) and The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), Goethe was a major catalyst for what was to come. Moreover, the second part of his Faust, which was written in old age and published posthumously in 1832, continues and further radicalizes ‘Romantic’ trends even after other major fi gures in the movement had died or moved on. In addition, of course, Goethe’s infl uence on Romantic music was crucial: his poetry makes up a signifi cant part of the corpus of Lieder (songs) by Schubert, Schumann and others. Readers may also recognize works in this collection by other poets – the Schlegel brothers, Uhland, Eichendorff, Friedrich Rückert, Heine and Wilhelm Müller – which have likewise been immortalized in music. Schiller, for his part, is perhaps best known for his works for the stage (many of which are also in verse, in iambic pentameter); but his poetry is just as striking for its combination of sculpted elegance and psychological intensity.

Various motifs and characters recur in this collection. The themes most commonly associated with Romantic poetry are love, death, night and nature – in particular the forests which to this day cover large areas of Germany. All these, accordingly, are prominent in this selection. In Eichendorff’s ‘Night of Moon’, nature mysticism fuses with Christian faith, and the themes of love and death merge memorably in the excerpts from the end of Act Two of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Child mortality is a particularly poignant motif in the poetry of this period, and again, this is refl ected here in poems by Goethe (‘Erlkönig’), Uhland (‘On the Death of a Child’), Eichendorff (‘On the Death of My Child’), Rückert (‘Now the sun prepares to rise as brightly’) and Mörike (‘To an Aeolian Harp’). Certain characters are also passed from poet to poet. The most famous is Lorelei, a female enchantress associated with the 132 metre­high rock of the same name on the right bank of the Rhine. An original invention of Brentano’s (‘Lore Lay’), she surfaces in many Romantic poems (see ‘Dialogue in the Forest’ by Eichendorff and ‘Lorelei’ by Heine in this collection), and became legend – indeed, her status in popular culture is such that it can come as a surprise to learn that she is a product of Romanticism rather than of more ancient folklore. This is an example of how convincing Romantic poets could be in their adoption of the ‘folk’ mode.

The formal range of German Romantic poetry is signifi cant. The most common, as will be clear from this collection, is the four­line strophe. This broad category includes (but is not confi ned to) the ballad, a narrative form. Examples in this collection include Goethe’s ‘Erlkönig’ and the various Lorelei poems. Some poets also wrote in freer or more idiosyncratic forms at points. In Novalis’s Hymns to Night, we even have examples of prose poetry: this cycle of six begins with rhythmed prose and lifts gradually into full verse. In addition, the Romantic period was a time of experimentation with historical forms, such as the elegiac couplet or distich, derived from Greek and Latin poetry and consisting of a hexameter line followed by a pentameter line. This was given particular impetus in the 1790s by Goethe and Schiller (see, for example, ‘Nenia’) and taken up by others, above all by Hölderlin, who became the supreme exponent of the elegy (see ‘Bread and Wine’). The boundaries between ‘Romanticism’ and ‘Classicism’ in German literature of this period are by no means as rigid as has often been claimed: the Schlegel brothers, for example, were enthusiastic about the revival of the classical elegy. An even bigger trend, however, was for the sonnet, spearheaded in the early 1800s by August Wilhelm Schlegel; a number of sonnets, accordingly, are given here. Finally, the collection includes two examples of the Persian­style ghazal: ‘Closing Song’ (Rückert) and ‘Truest of Sages are You to Me’ (August von Platen). The ghazal form consists of couplets, all of which end with the same rhyme sound (AA, BA, CA, etc.). While Goethe’s West­östlicher Divan (West­ Eastern Divan) remains the best­known tribute to Persian poetry in German, other poets in fact went even deeper in their engagement with the language and its literary traditions. Both Rückert and Platen could read Persian fluently – Rückert, indeed, was Professor of Oriental Languages, as the discipline was then called – and both demonstrated considerable poetic skill in the many original ghazals that they composed.

The intricate rhymes and metres of the ghazal bring us to the difficulty of preserving form in translation. If the translator’s attention to form is too blinkered, the ‘argument’ of the poem will suffer. So might its sound, in fact: hackneyed rhymes and forced metres are probably worse than a verse translation which feels prosy. On the other hand, if a translation retains little or nothing of the poem’s original ‘shape’, the reader will have but a fraction of an impression of the source text. There is, of course, more to poetry than rhyme; but given that rhyme was an important resource for many Romantic poets, preference has been given in this collection to translations which preserve this feature. Relaxing the demands of form in favour of a subtle representation of content can also lead to impressive renderings, however, and this approach to translating poetry is represented here too. The collection has been determined partly by the translations that exist, and there is more available for some poets than for others; but the hope is that the work of the many great translators and scholars of German represented here will convey a vivid sense of what Romanticism was and is.

Some poems are taken from larger collections (notably Heine’s Book of Songs), but I have only included the titles of short cycles here (such as Novalis’s Hymns to Night), because these are more crucial to the understanding of a given poem. Titles have been given in both English and German to make it easier for readers to trace the original should they so wish.

I am grateful to Nicholas Boyle, John Guthrie, Peter Hutchinson and Joanna Raisbeck for their ideas for this selection, and to Roger Paulin for providing new translations of poems by August Wilhelm Schlegel, Ludwig Tieck and Eduard Mörike.

--CHARLOTTE LEE

About

A greatest-hits selection from some of the most popular poets of the Romantic movement, including Goethe, Schiller, Schlegel, and Heine, in a gorgeously jacketed small hardcover

Unlike the more earnest English Romantic poets, followers of the Romantic movement in Germany valued wit and humor along with beauty. Admiration for nature is also prominent in their poetry, and in particular the dramatic forests which still cover large areas of Germany. Love and death crop up repeatedly as themes in such famous works as Goethe’s “Elf King” and Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Characters from myth and folklore abound—most famously Lorelei, an enchantress who is associated with the rock of the same name on the bank of the Rhine, who is featured in several poems in this volume. Also gathered here are such favorites as Hölderlin’s “Bread and Wine,” Schiller’s “The Visit of the Gods,” Eichendorff’s “Nocturne,” and Heine’s “The Magic Month of May,” along with works by the most famous women writers of the Romantic era, including Karoline von Günderrode and Sophie Mereau.

Everyman's Library pursues the highest production standards, printing on acid-free cream-colored paper, with full-cloth cases with two-color foil stamping, decorative endpapers, silk ribbon markers, European-style half-round spines, and a full-color illustrated jacket.

Author

CHARLOTTE LEE is an associate professor of German literature at the University of Cambridge in the UK. View titles by Charlotte Lee

Table of Contents

CONTENTS
 
GOTTFRIED AUGUST BÜRGER (1747-1794)
    Excerpt from: William and Helen / Lenore (Tr. Walter Scott)                         
 
JOHANN WOLFGANG GOETHE (1749-1832)
     May Song / Mailied (Tr. John Whaley)                                                         
     Welcome and Farewell / Willkommen und Abschied (Tr. Christopher Middleton)       
     Rosebud in the Heather / Heidenröslein (Tr. John Frederick Nims)                 
     Prometheus / Prometheus (Tr. Michael Hamburger)                                       
     Ganymede / Ganymed (Tr. David Luke)                                                       
     My Peace is Gone / Meine Ruh ist hin, from Faust (Tr. John R. Williams)      
     The Elf King / Erlkönig (Tr. David Luke)                                                     
     Wanderer’s Night Song / Wandrers Nachtlied (Tr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
     Another Night Song / Ein Gleiches (Tr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)          
     Mignon / Kennst du das Land (Tr. John Frederick Nims)                               
     Immense Astonishment / Mächtiges Überraschen (Tr. Christopher Middleton)
     Ecstatic Longing / Selige Sehnsucht (Tr. David Luke)                                   
 
FRIEDRICH SCHILLER (1759-1805)
     The Ideal and Life / Das Ideal und das Leben (Tr. Richard Winston)              
     Evening / Der Abend (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                                       
     The Visit of the Gods / Dithyrambe (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, after Schiller) 
     The Maiden’s Plaint / Des Mädchens Klage (Tr. James Clarence Mangan)      
     Nenia / Nänie (Tr. Alexander Gode)                                                             
     Mountain Song / Berglied (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                                

AUGUST WILHELM SCHLEGEL (1767-1845)
     The Sonnet / Das Sonett (Tr. Roger Paulin)                                                   
      Evening Song for the Distant Beloved / Abendlied für die Entfernte (Tr. Richaed Wigmore)
 
 
FRIEDRICH HÖLDERLIN (1770-1843)
     In the Morning / Des Morgens (Tr. Michael Hamburger)                               
     Bread and Wine (extract) / Brod und Wein  (Tr. Michael Hamburger)             
     Ganymede / Ganymed (Tr. David Constantine)                                             
     The Half of Life / Hälfte des Lebens (Tr. Christopher Middleton)                   
     Remembrance / Andenken (Tr. Christopher Middleton)                                 
     The Ister / Der Ister (Tr. David Constantine)                                                 
 
SOPHIE MEREAU (1770-1806)
     Spring / Frühling (Tr. Walter Arndt)                                                             
     To a Trellised Tree / An einen Baum am Spalier (Tr. Walter Arndt)                
 
FRIEDRICH VON HARDENBERG (‘NOVALIS’, 1772-1801)
   Sacred Songs / Geistliche Lieder
            X    There Come Such Troubled Hours / Es gibt so bange Zeiten                
                                                (Tr. Eilieen Hutchins) 
            XV  Maria / Ich sehe dich in tausend Bildern (Tr. J.W. Thomas)              
     Hymns to Night / Hymnen an die Nacht (Tr. Robert M. Browning)
            II                                                                                                         
            VI  Longing for Death / Sehnsucht nach dem Tode                                                         
     The Hermit’s Song / Gern verweil ich noch im Tale, from Heinrich von Ofterdingen
(Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                                                                                                                                                                
 
FRIEDRICH SCHLEGEL (1772-1829)
     The Boatman / Der Schiffer (Tr. Richard Wigmore)                                        
     Sunset / Tiefer sinket schon die Sonne (Tr. Richard Wigmore)                       
 
LUDWIG TIECK (1773-1853)
     Sweet Darling, Rest in the Shade / Ruhe, Süßliebchen, im Schatten                
            (Tr. Siegbert Prawer)
    Wonder of Love / Wunder der Liebe (Tr. Roger Paulin)                                                         
    Love / Liebe (Tr. Herman Salinger)                                                               
 
CLEMENS BRENTANO (1778-1842)
     Slumber Song / Wiegenlied (Tr. Anne Jennings)                                           
     Evening Serenade / Abendständchen (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                
     Lore Lay / Lore Lay (Tr. Mabel Cotterell)                                                     
     The Spinstress’ Song / Der Spinnerin Lied (Tr. Alexander Gode)                   
     The Forest / O kühler Wald’ (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                            
     Lord! Within Thy Peace I Rest Me / Herr! Ich steh in deinem Frieden            
            (Tr. Mabel Cotterell)
     Holy night, holy night! / Heli’ge Nacht, heil’ge Nacht! (Tr. David B. Dickens)
     Echoes of Beethoven’s Music / Nachklänge Beethovenscher Musik               
(Tr. G.C. Schoolfield)
 
 
KAROLINE VON GÜNDERRODE (1780-1806)
     The Kiss in the Dream / Der Kuss im Traume (Tr. Michael Ferber)                 
     Dedication / Zueignung (Tr. Charlotte Lee)
     The Prime Lament / Die eine Klage (Tr. Walter Arndt)                                  
     Bright Red / Hochroth (Tr. Michael Ferber)                                                   
     The Balloonist / Der Luftschiffer (Tr. Michael Ferber)                                   
 
ADALBERT VON CHAMISSO (1781-1838)
     The Solider / Der Soldat (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)                                   
     Lord Byron’s Last Love / Lord Byrons letzte Liebe (Tr. Michael Ferber)        
 
JUSTINUS KERNER (1786-1862)
     Oppressive Dream / Der schwere Traum (Ikaros) (Tr. John Fitzell)                 
     The Saw-Mill / Der Wandrer in der Sägemühle (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase) 
 
 
LUDWIG UHLAND (1787-1862)
     The Chapel / Die Kapelle (Tr. Charles R. Lambert)                                       
     The Dream / Der Traum (Tr. Charles R. Lambert)                                         
     The Smith / Der Schmied (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                                 
     Spring Faith / Frühlingsglaube (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                         
     The Gossamer / Der Sommerfaden (Tr. Charles R. Lambert)                          
     On the Death of a Child / Auf den Tod eines Kindes (Tr. Oliver Brown)         
 
 
JOSEPH FREIHERR VON EICHENDORFF (1788-1857)
     The Broken Ring / Das zerbrochene Ringlein (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                    
     Dialogue in the Forest / Waldgespräch (Tr. Gerd Gillhoff)                             
     The Joyful Traveller / Der frohe Wandersmann (Tr. Stewart H. Benedict)       
     Prague Students’ Song / Wanderlied der Prager Studenten                               
(Tr. James Edward Tobin)
     Evening / Abend (Tr. Edwin Morgan)                                                             
     Nocturne / Nachts (Tr. Herman Salinger)                                                       
     On the Death of my Child / Auf meines Kindes Tod (Tr. Edward Dvoretzky)    
     Night / Die Nachtblume (Tr. Isabel S. MacInnes)                                          
     Longing / Sehnsucht (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)                                                         
     Night of Moon / Mondnacht (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)                             
     The Hermit / Der Einsiedler (Tr. Meno Spann)                                              
     Wishing Wand / Wünschelrute (Tr. Alison Turner)                                        
     Death Wish / Todeslust (Tr. Robert M. Browning)                                        
 
     Memento mori / Memento mori! (Tr. Robert M. Browning)                           
     The Poet Walks Abroad / Wanderlied (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)               
     Old Age / Das Alter (Tr. Vernon Watkins)                                                    
    
 
FRIEDRICH RÜCKERT (1788-1866)
 
     My Soul, My Heart / Du meine Seele (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                               
     O Stop with me / Du bist die Ruh (Tr. J.W. Thomas)                                     
     [Now the sun prepares to rise as brightly] / [Nun will die Sonn’ so hell aufgeh’n]  8 lines
            (Tr. Siegbert Prawer)
     Closing Song / Schlusslied (Tr. Charlotte Lee)
 
WILHELM MÜLLER (1794-1827)
     The Journeyman’s Song / Wanderschaft (Tr. Francis Owen)                          
     The Linden Tree / Der Lindenbaum (Tr. John Fitzell)                                    
 
AUGUST GRAF VON PLATEN-HALLERMÜNDE (1797-1848)
    Truest of Sages Are You to Me / Du bist der wahre Weise mir                        
            (Tr. Edwin Morgan)
         Fain Would I Live in Safest Freedom / Ich möchte gern mich frei bewahren
            (Tr. Edwin Morgan)
     Venetian Sonnets / Sonette aus Venedig (Tr. Edwin Morgan) 
            II                                                                                                         
            VIII                                                                                                     
 
ANNETTE VON DROSTE-HÜLSHOFF (1797-1848)
    The Pond / Der Weiher (Tr. Herman Salinger)                                               
     The House in the Heath / Das Haus in der Heide (Tr. James Edward Tobin)    
     In the Grass / Im Grase (Tr. Jane K. Brown)                                                  
     Moonrise / Mondesaufgang (Tr. Herman Salinger)                                        


HEINRICH HEINE (1797-1856)
 
     [In May, the magic month of May] / [Im wunderschönen Monat Mai]             
            (Tr. Hal Draper)                                                                                   
     [On wings of song] / [Auf Flügeln des Gesanges] (Tr. Hal Draper)                             
     [The lotus flower] / [Die Lotosblume ängstigt] (Tr. Hal Draper)                                 
     [A Youth Once Loved] / [Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen]                             
            (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)
     [They talked of love and devotion] / [Sie saßen und tranken am Teetisch]       
            (Tr. Hal Draper)                                               
     Lorelei / [Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)   
     [The night is still, the streets are dumb] / [Still ist die Nacht, es ruhen die Gassen]  
            (Tr. Hal Draper)           
    [I called the devil and he came] / [Ich rief den Teufel, und er kam]                  
            (Tr. Hal Draper)                                   
     [Ah, those eyes] / [Ach die Augen sind es wieder] (Tr. Hal Draper)                                        
     Sea Apparation / Seegespenst (Tr. Hal Draper)                      
     Memorial Day / Gedächtnisfeier (Tr. Max Knight)                                        
     The Silesian Weavers / Die schlesischen Weber (Tr. T.J. Reed)                      
     Babylonian Sorrows / Babylonische Sorgen (Tr. Herman Salinger)                 
 
NIKOLAUS LENAU (1802-1850)
     The Oak Grove / Der Eichwald (Tr. Dwight Durling)                                    
    [The evening wind in the treetops] / [Der Nachtwind hat in den Bäumen]        
            (Tr. Robert M. Browning)
     Plea / Bitte (Tr. George C. Schoolfield)                                                         
    

EDUARD MÖRIKE (1804-1875)
     In Spring / Im Frühling (Tr. Vernon Watkins)                                               
     To an Aeolian Harp / An eine Äolsharfe (Tr. Christopher Middleton)             
     The Beautiful Beech Tree / Die schöne Buche (Tr. Christopher Middleton)     
     On a Lamp / Auf eine Lampe (Tr. Christopher Middleton)                             
     Reflect, my soul / Denk’ es, o Seele (Tr. Roger Paulin)                                  
     Um Mitternacht / At Midnight (Tr. Joseph B. Dallett)                                    
     To a Christmas-Rose / Auf eine Christblume (Tr. Geoffrey Herbert Chase)     
     Prayer / Gebet (Tr. Chrisopher Middleton)                                                    
 
 
 
RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1888)
    So let us die / So stürben wir                                                                                     
(Tr. Andrew Porter – excerpts from Tristan and Isolde)

Excerpt

FOREWORD

The convention in scholarship is to see German Romanticism as starting in the 1790s, with the Schlegel brothers and their circle in Jena, and ending in the 1820s, part way through the career of the great poet Heinrich Heine. This anthology begins earlier and fi nishes later, thereby incorporating crucial influences – without which Romanticism cannot be properly understood – and giving an idea of the legacy of the movement. This is particularly helpful if we wish to develop a sense of the place of German poetry in the broader context of European Romanticism. Indeed, it is perhaps more accurate, though less elegant, to speak of Romanticisms. These flowered at different times. French literary Romanticism, for example, reached its high point a little later than German literary Romanticism. Romantic movements in the various artistic media also had their own trajectories: in Germany, the Romantic era in music peaked later than in literature, and extended as late as Wagner, Bruckner and Mahler. A more generous understanding of the boundaries of German literary Romanticism, therefore, also helps us to understand how developments in poetry relate to those in other art forms.

This collection opens with an excerpt from William and Helen, Sir Walter Scott’s translation of Lenore, a ballad by Gottfried August Bürger. Lenore was very influential in Britain and elsewhere, and it was also in some ways the source of the trend for ballads which the Romantics adopted, via Goethe. The Early Romantic circle from Jena is represented in the poetry of August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis, Ludwig Tieck and Sophie Mereau. The Schlegel brothers provided much of the theoretical impetus behind Early Romanticism, and August Wilhelm’s erudite contributions were particularly important for developments in the lyric. Also of that generation, and kindred to an extent in philosophical terms, was Friedrich Hölderlin, one of the most complex but most brilliant writers in the German language. Next come Clemens Brentano and Karoline von Günderrode. Günderrode was a rare philosophical and poetic talent, whose work is rooted in its time, yet also highly distinctive. Brentano was an especially gifted lyric poet, who was prolific on his own terms, and who also collaborated with Achim von Arnim to produce the famous folk collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn (extracts of which were later set to music by Gustav Mahler). The predilection for folk­style poetry – which was often highly artful – goes back several decades to the infl uence of Johann Gottfried Herder, and before him, Thomas Percy in England. Goethe’s ‘Heidenröslein’ is a particularly famous example of this approach.

Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff represents the peak of later Romantic poetry. He had become closely acquainted with Arnim and Brentano in Heidelberg, and ultimately took Romanticism in a very different direction from that envisioned by the Schlegel brothers. Several other poets of roughly Eichendorff’s generation, such as Adalbert von Chamisso, Justinus Kerner and Ludwig Uhland are also included: they were all popular in Germany and, very often, were beloved of Victorian translators too. Together with Eichendorff, Heinrich Heine is often considered the Romantic poet par excellence. From early in his career, however, his work is poised between admiration for and scepticism of the movement, and his critical distance becomes more marked later on. Although this selection is tipped towards the earlier part of his œuvre, the later, in some ways anti­Romantic part is also represented. With Heine, we have reached the notional end of the Romantic period proper, and Eichendorff was plagued in his later years by the sense that he was becoming outmoded; yet plenty of writers, such as the Austrian poet Nikolaus Lenau, continued to compose in the Romantic idiom. Annette von Droste­Hülshoff and Eduard Mörike are sometimes described as post­Romantic poets, meaning that their poetry still bears the stamp of the Romantic era but, with their own innovations, they also ushered in a new era, even anticipating Modernism. With Richard Wagner, fi nally, the Romantic legacy gathered new momentum: Wagner, who wrote his own libretti, channeled the infl uence of literary Romanticism into his Gesamtkunstwerk (total art work), which moves Romantic opera into modern music.

Germany’s most famous writer and polymath, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, occupies a singular place in all this. There has been a tendency to see Goethe as distinct from the Romantics; for some, his approach was even antithetical to Romanticism. Something similar obtains for his great friend and collaborator, Friedrich Schiller. There are evident differences between their work and (say) that of the Schlegels. Yet there was signifi cant mutual infl uence, in particular between Goethe and the fi rst generation of Romantics, and both Goethe and Schiller shared many of the intellectual interests which drove Early Romanticism. Indeed, with his early pre­Romantic works such as ‘May Song’ (1771) and The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), Goethe was a major catalyst for what was to come. Moreover, the second part of his Faust, which was written in old age and published posthumously in 1832, continues and further radicalizes ‘Romantic’ trends even after other major fi gures in the movement had died or moved on. In addition, of course, Goethe’s infl uence on Romantic music was crucial: his poetry makes up a signifi cant part of the corpus of Lieder (songs) by Schubert, Schumann and others. Readers may also recognize works in this collection by other poets – the Schlegel brothers, Uhland, Eichendorff, Friedrich Rückert, Heine and Wilhelm Müller – which have likewise been immortalized in music. Schiller, for his part, is perhaps best known for his works for the stage (many of which are also in verse, in iambic pentameter); but his poetry is just as striking for its combination of sculpted elegance and psychological intensity.

Various motifs and characters recur in this collection. The themes most commonly associated with Romantic poetry are love, death, night and nature – in particular the forests which to this day cover large areas of Germany. All these, accordingly, are prominent in this selection. In Eichendorff’s ‘Night of Moon’, nature mysticism fuses with Christian faith, and the themes of love and death merge memorably in the excerpts from the end of Act Two of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Child mortality is a particularly poignant motif in the poetry of this period, and again, this is refl ected here in poems by Goethe (‘Erlkönig’), Uhland (‘On the Death of a Child’), Eichendorff (‘On the Death of My Child’), Rückert (‘Now the sun prepares to rise as brightly’) and Mörike (‘To an Aeolian Harp’). Certain characters are also passed from poet to poet. The most famous is Lorelei, a female enchantress associated with the 132 metre­high rock of the same name on the right bank of the Rhine. An original invention of Brentano’s (‘Lore Lay’), she surfaces in many Romantic poems (see ‘Dialogue in the Forest’ by Eichendorff and ‘Lorelei’ by Heine in this collection), and became legend – indeed, her status in popular culture is such that it can come as a surprise to learn that she is a product of Romanticism rather than of more ancient folklore. This is an example of how convincing Romantic poets could be in their adoption of the ‘folk’ mode.

The formal range of German Romantic poetry is signifi cant. The most common, as will be clear from this collection, is the four­line strophe. This broad category includes (but is not confi ned to) the ballad, a narrative form. Examples in this collection include Goethe’s ‘Erlkönig’ and the various Lorelei poems. Some poets also wrote in freer or more idiosyncratic forms at points. In Novalis’s Hymns to Night, we even have examples of prose poetry: this cycle of six begins with rhythmed prose and lifts gradually into full verse. In addition, the Romantic period was a time of experimentation with historical forms, such as the elegiac couplet or distich, derived from Greek and Latin poetry and consisting of a hexameter line followed by a pentameter line. This was given particular impetus in the 1790s by Goethe and Schiller (see, for example, ‘Nenia’) and taken up by others, above all by Hölderlin, who became the supreme exponent of the elegy (see ‘Bread and Wine’). The boundaries between ‘Romanticism’ and ‘Classicism’ in German literature of this period are by no means as rigid as has often been claimed: the Schlegel brothers, for example, were enthusiastic about the revival of the classical elegy. An even bigger trend, however, was for the sonnet, spearheaded in the early 1800s by August Wilhelm Schlegel; a number of sonnets, accordingly, are given here. Finally, the collection includes two examples of the Persian­style ghazal: ‘Closing Song’ (Rückert) and ‘Truest of Sages are You to Me’ (August von Platen). The ghazal form consists of couplets, all of which end with the same rhyme sound (AA, BA, CA, etc.). While Goethe’s West­östlicher Divan (West­ Eastern Divan) remains the best­known tribute to Persian poetry in German, other poets in fact went even deeper in their engagement with the language and its literary traditions. Both Rückert and Platen could read Persian fluently – Rückert, indeed, was Professor of Oriental Languages, as the discipline was then called – and both demonstrated considerable poetic skill in the many original ghazals that they composed.

The intricate rhymes and metres of the ghazal bring us to the difficulty of preserving form in translation. If the translator’s attention to form is too blinkered, the ‘argument’ of the poem will suffer. So might its sound, in fact: hackneyed rhymes and forced metres are probably worse than a verse translation which feels prosy. On the other hand, if a translation retains little or nothing of the poem’s original ‘shape’, the reader will have but a fraction of an impression of the source text. There is, of course, more to poetry than rhyme; but given that rhyme was an important resource for many Romantic poets, preference has been given in this collection to translations which preserve this feature. Relaxing the demands of form in favour of a subtle representation of content can also lead to impressive renderings, however, and this approach to translating poetry is represented here too. The collection has been determined partly by the translations that exist, and there is more available for some poets than for others; but the hope is that the work of the many great translators and scholars of German represented here will convey a vivid sense of what Romanticism was and is.

Some poems are taken from larger collections (notably Heine’s Book of Songs), but I have only included the titles of short cycles here (such as Novalis’s Hymns to Night), because these are more crucial to the understanding of a given poem. Titles have been given in both English and German to make it easier for readers to trace the original should they so wish.

I am grateful to Nicholas Boyle, John Guthrie, Peter Hutchinson and Joanna Raisbeck for their ideas for this selection, and to Roger Paulin for providing new translations of poems by August Wilhelm Schlegel, Ludwig Tieck and Eduard Mörike.

--CHARLOTTE LEE

Books for Black History Month

Join Penguin Random House Education in celebrating the contributions of Black authors and illustrators. In honor of Black History Month in February, we are highlighting essential fiction and nonfiction to be shared and discussed by students and teachers alike. Black History Month – Middle School Black History Month – High School Explore additional books by

Read more

PRH Education High School Collections

All reading communities should contain protected time for the sake of reading. Independent reading practices emphasize the process of making meaning through reading, not an end product. The school culture (teachers, administration, etc.) should affirm this daily practice time as inherently important instructional time for all readers. (NCTE, 2019)   The Penguin Random House High

Read more

PRH Education Translanguaging Collections

Translanguaging is a communicative practice of bilinguals and multilinguals, that is, it is a practice whereby bilinguals and multilinguals use their entire linguistic repertoire to communicate and make meaning (García, 2009; García, Ibarra Johnson, & Seltzer, 2017)   It is through that lens that we have partnered with teacher educators and bilingual education experts, Drs.

Read more

PRH Education Classroom Libraries

“Books are a students’ passport to entering and actively participating in a global society with the empathy, compassion, and knowledge it takes to become the problem solvers the world needs.” –Laura Robb   Research shows that reading and literacy directly impacts students’ academic success and personal growth. To help promote the importance of daily independent

Read more