Gottfried August Burger
Lenora waked at morning's red
Disturbed by heavy dreaming:
"Art faithless, William, or art dead?
My fears surpass all seeming."
He'd gone with Prussian Fred'rick's host
To fight at Prague where needed most,
Nor line had he indited,
Although their troth was plighted.
Great Fred'rick and the Hapsburg queen
Of longer battling weary,
From war began their thoughts to wean,
And bright succeeded dreary;
And ev'ry band with joyful song,
With bugle-blast and cheering long,
Bedecked with verdant laurels
Turned home from royal quarrels.
From everywhere - from far and near,
From road and street and alley -
Came forth the young, the fair, the sere
To greet them in the valley.
"Thank god!" both child and mother cried.
"Thou'rt welcome!" cries the happy bride.
But ah! Lenora waited -
No kiss for her, the fated.
She ran the line all up and down,
To this and that one speaking,
But none there was, nor prince nor clown,
Could aid her in her seeking.
When all were passed, in dark despair,
She wildly tore her raven hair;
And by the wayside falling,
Her grief became appalling.
Then quick her mother to her ran:
"God have you in His keeping!
What grieves you thus! Tell, if you can,
The cause, pray, of this weeping."
"Oh mother, mother, gone, all gone!
My world, all gone, my all is gone!
To me no mercy showeth
The God who good bestoweth!"
"Help God! In Thee we put our trust!
Child, pray a pater-noster.
What God decrees is wise and just.
O God, Thou wilt us foster!"
"Oh mother, mother, vain the hope;
No help for me though prayed the pope!
What helps, what helps beseeching,
But its own folly teaching!"
"Help God, help! Who the Father know
Believe to prayer He'll listen.
The sacrament will soothe thy woe
And God thy spirit chasten."
"O, mother, mother. I lament
What ne'er 'll re-give the sacrament.
No sacrament availeth,
When death the flesh assaileth."
"List, child! How if the faithless man,
For some fair Southern maiden,
His troth forgets, as all men can?
With other bonds he's laden.
Think not, my child, think not of him!
His future now's forever dim:
When soul and body sever
The perjured burn forever."
"O mother, mother, o'er is o'er!
To lose him is to lose him!
In death, in death is all my store!
E'en there I'd not refuse him!
Go out my light, forever out!
To die, to die I pray devout!
From hope and joy I've parted!
Why live thus broken-hearted?"