Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WOMAN'S LOVE AND LIFE, by ADELBERT VON CHAMISSO



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WOMAN'S LOVE AND LIFE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Since mine eyes beheld him,
Last Line: O thou, my all!


1

SINCE mine eyes beheld him,
Blind I seem to be;
Wheresoe'er they wander,
Him alone they see.
Round me glows his image,
In a waking dream;
From the darkness rising
Brighter doth it beam.

All is drear and gloomy
That around me lies;
Now my sister's pastimes
I no longer prize;
In my chamber rather
Would I weep alone;
Since my eyes beheld him
Blind methinks I'm grown.

2

He, the best of all, the noblest,
O how gentle! O how kind!
Lips of sweetness, eyes of brightness,
Steadfast courage, lucid mind.

As on high, in Heaven's azure,
Bright and splendid, beams yon star,
Thus he in my heaven beameth,
Bright and splendid, high and far.

Wander, wander where thou listest,
I will gaze but on thy beam;
With humility behold it,
In a sad, yet blissful dream.

Hear me not thy bliss imploring
With prayer's silent eloquence?
Know me now, a lowly maiden,
Star of proud magnificence!

May thy choice be rendered happy
By the worthiest alone!
And I'll call a thousand blessings
Down on her exalted throne.

Then I'll weep with tears of gladness;
Happy, happy then my lot!
If my heart should rive asunder,
Break, O heart—it matters not!

3

Is it true? O, I cannot believe it;
A dream doth my senses enthrall;
O can he have made me so happy,
And exalted me thus above all?

Meseems as if he had spoken,
"I am thine, ever faithful and true!"
Meseems—O still am I dreaming—
It cannot, it cannot be true!

O fain would I, rocked on his bosom,
In the sleep of eternity lie;
That death were indeed the most blissful,
In the rapture of weeping to die.

4

Help me, ye sisters,
Kindly to deck me,
Me, O the happy one, aid me this morn!
Let the light finger
Twine the sweet myrtle's
Blossoming garland, my brow to adorn!

As on the bosom
Of my loved one,
Wrapt in the bliss of contentment, I lay,
He, with soft longing
In his heart thrilling,
Ever impatiently sighed for today.

Aid me, ye sisters,
Aid me to banish
Foolish anxieties, timid and coy,
That I with sparkling
Eye may receive him,
Him the bright fountain of rapture and joy.

Do I behold thee,
Thee, my beloved one,
Dost thou, O sun, shed thy beam upon me?
Let me devoutly,
Let me in meekness
Bend to my lord and my master the knee!

Strew, ye fair sisters,
Flowers before him,
Cast budding roses around at his feet!
Joyfully quitting
Now your bright circle,
You, lovely sisters, with sadness I greet.

5

Dearest friend, thou lookest
On me with surprise,
Dost thou wonder wherefore
Tears suffuse mine eyes?
Let the dewy pearl-drops
Like rare gems appear,
Trembling, bright with gladness,
In their crystal sphere.

With what anxious raptures
Doth my bosom swell!
O had I but language
What I feel to tell!
Come and hide thy face, love,
Here upon my breast,
In thine ear I'll whisper
Why I am so blest.

Now the tears thou knowest
Which my joy confessed,
Thou shalt not behold them,
Thou, my dearest, best;
Linger on my bosom,
Feel its throbbing tide;
Let me press thee firmly,
Firmly, to my side!

Here may rest the cradle,
Close my couch beside,
Where it may in silence
My sweet vision hide;
Soon will come the morning,
When my dream will wake,
And thy smiling image
Will to life awake.

6

Upon my heart, and upon my breast,
Thou joy of all joys, my sweetest, best!
Bliss, thou art love; O love, thou art bliss—
I've said it, and seal it here with a kiss.
I thought no happiness mine could exceed,
But now I am happy, O happy indeed!
She only, who to her bosom hath pressed
The babe who drinketh life at her breast;
'Tis only a mother the joys can know
Of love, and real happiness here below.
How I pity man, whose bosom reveals
No joys like that which a mother feels!
Thou look'st on me, with a smile on thy brow,
Thou dear, dear little angel, thou!
Upon my heart, and upon my breast,
Thou joy of all joys, my sweetest, best!

7

Ah, thy first wound hast thou inflicted now!
But oh! how deep!
Hard-hearted, cruel man, now sleepest thou
Death's long, long sleep.

I gaze upon the void in silent grief,
The world is drear;
I've lived and loved, but now the verdant leaf
Of life is sere.

I will retire within my soul's recess,
The veil shall fall;
I'll live with thee and my past happiness,
O thou, my all!





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