Come hither, child; who gifted thee
With power to touch that string so well?
How darest thou wake thoughts in me,
Thoughts that I would—but cannot quell!
Nay, chide not, lady; long ago
I heard those notes in Elbe Hall,
And had I known they'd waken woe,
I'd weep their music to recall.
But thus it was one festal night,
When I was hardly six years old,
I stole away from crowds and light
And sought a chamber dark and cold.
I had no one to love me there,
I knew no comrade and no friend,
And so I went to sorrow where
Heaven only heaven could me fend.
Loud blew the wind. 'Twas sad to stay
From all that splendour round away.
I imaged in the lonely room
A thousand forms, a fearful gloom;
And with my wet eyes raised on high,
I prayed to God that I might die.
Suddenly in the silence drear
A sound of music reached my ear: