Translations from Heinrich Heine I Is your hate, then, of such measure? Do you, truly, so detest me? Through all the world will I complain Of how you have addressed me. O ye lips that are ungrateful, Hath it never once distressed you, That you can say such awful things Of any one who ever kissed you? II So thou hast forgotten fully That I so long held thy heart wholly, Thy little heart, so sweet and false and small That there's no thing more sweet or false at all. Love and lay thou hast forgotten fully, And my heart worked at them unduly. I know not if the love or if the lay were better stuff, But I know now, they both were good enough. III Tell me where thy lovely love is, Whom thou once did sing so sweetly, When the fairy flames enshrouded Thee, and held thy heart completely. All the flames are dead and sped now And my heart is cold and sere; Behold this book, the urn of ashes, 'Tis my true love's sepulchre. IV I dreamt that I was God Himself Whom heavenly joy immerses, And all the angels sat about And praised my verses. V The mutilated choir boys When I begin to sing Complain about the awful noise And call my voice too thick a thing. When light their voices lift them up, Bright notes against the ear, Through trills and runs like crystal, Ring delicate and clear. They sing of Love that's grown desirous, Of Love, and joy that is Love's inmost part, And all the ladies swim through tears Toward such a work of art. VI This delightful young man Should not lack for honourers, He propitiates me with oysters, With Rhine wine and liqueurs. How his coat and pants adorn him! Yet his ties are more adorning, In these he daily comes to ask me: Are you feeling well this morning? He speaks of my extended fame, My wit, charm, definitions, And is diligent to serve me, Is detailed in his provisions. In evening company he sets his face In most spirituel positions, And declaims before the ladies My god-like compositions. O what comfort is it for me To find him such, when the days bring No comfort, at my time of life when All good things go vanishing. TRANSLATOR TO TRANSLATED O Harry Heine, curses be, I live too late to sup with thee! Who can demolish at such polished ease Philistia's pomp and Art's pomposities! VII SONG FROM DIE HARZREISE I am the Princess Ilza In Ilsenstein I fare, Come with me to that castle And we'll be happy there. Thy head will I cover over With my waves' clarity Till thou forget thy sorrow, O wounded sorrowfully. Thou wilt in my white arms there, Nay, on my breast thou must Forget and rest and dream there For thine old legend-lust. My lips and my heart are thine there As they were his and mine. His? Why the good King Harry's, And he is dead lang syne. Dead men stay alway dead men, Life is the live man's part, And I am fair and golden With joy breathless at heart. If my heart stay below there, My crystal halls ring clear To the dance of lords and ladies In all their splendid gear. The silken trains go rustling, The spur-clinks sound between, The dark dwarfs blow and bow there Small horn and violin. Yet shall my white arms hold thee, That bound King Harry about. Ah, I covered his ears with them When the trumpet rang out.