Bohemian legends and other poems/The Lover by the Grave
THE LOVER BY THE GRAVE.
A BOHEMIAN BALLAD.
Passing through the somber forest,
Maidens two I saw.
“Tell me, maidens, tell me, fair ones,
That I hold in awe,
Is my loved one midst your number,
Making hay, or doth she slumber?”
“Ah, alas! your loved one slumbers,
Deep within the grave.
Yesterday we laid her lowly,
Where the grasses wave.”
“Dead! my loved one, oh, tell me where
Lies my loved one, without compare?”
“’Tis a fair way that we took her,
Winding up the hill;
Where the youths trod there are pebbles,
You can see them still.
Where the maidens trod are roses,
There she lies in death’s encloses.”
“Tell me, maidens, where she sleepeth,
Whom I loved so well.”
“Not far from the gateway, lover,
By the graveyard cell.”
Twice I wandered round God’s acre,
Praying sore unto my Maker.
Weeping midst the graves I sought her,
Who had been my bride;
But her lowly grave I found not,
Though I wept and sighed.
“Who disturbs our peaceful sleeping?”
Said a voice, as I stood weeping.
“Oh, beloved one, break thy slumber,
Come from out thy grave;
Three years I have yearned to see thee
And I find thy grave!”
“BUt my heart is cold within me,
I am dead, and cannot love thee.
“Look around and find a shovel,
Make me free from earth;
Take me home, then, my beloved one,
’Midst the bridal mirth.”
I dug deep, I found my loved one,
Cold and pale I found my loved one.
In her wedding dress I saw her,
With the myrtle wreath;
But her eyes were closed in slumber,
She had drank of lethe.
“Take the ring off from my finger—
Wherefor, lover, dost thou linger?
“Throw the ring into the river,
It will bring thee peace;
Leave me, then, in peaceful sleeping,
Let thy sorrow cease.
For my heart is cold within me,
I am dead, and cannot love thee.”
“Oh, ring ye church bells, far and wide,
That my bride is dead,
Then ring ye church bells, long and loud,
That my heart is dead.
Oh, lay me in the self-same grave
With her whom I had died to save.”