Translation:The Fair Magelone/VIII

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The Fair Magelone  (1797)  by Ludwig Tieck, translated from German by Wikisource
Section 8

8: How Peter visited the Fair Magelone

The time finally arrived when the knight was to visit his beloved Magelone. He secretly passed through the garden gate to nurse's chamber, where he found the princess. Magelone was sitting on a bed of ease. When she saw the knight come in, she wanted to get up and fall upon his neck and cover him with tears and kisses. But she restrained herself and remained seated. A scarlet blush overspread her entire countenance so that she looked like a rose that has not yet opened and which the warm sunshine bathes, as it draws apart its leaves. Equally abashed, the knight stood before her. Gracious joy and confusion alternated on his countenance.

The nurse left the room, and Peter went down without speaking on one knee. Magelone gave him her beautiful hand, and bade him get up and sit down beside her. Peter did as she asked, and trembled at her side. His eyes were like two shining stars, so drunk with joy was he that he could now behold his beloved before his very eyes. For a long time no words passed between them. Words would only have disturbed their tender eyes, which met in silence. But finally the young man addressed her, saying that he had devoted himself completely to her since he had first laid eyes on her, that he had dedicated his whole life to her, and that through her love he felt as though he had been awakened from a deep sleep by the hands of an angel.

He gave her the third ring, which was the most precious of all, and then he kissed her lily-white hand. She was deeply moved by his loyalty; she stood up and placed a precious golden chain around his neck and said:

I hereby accept you to be mine and give myself to be yours. Take this in memory of me; and if you love me, carry it always with you.

Then she took the terrified knight in her arms and kissed him warmly on the lips; and he returned the kiss and pressed her to his heart.

They had to part. Peter returned immediately to his room as though he had to relate his good fortune to his weapons and his lute. He was happier than he had ever been before. He strode up and down and touched the strings of his lute; he kissed the instrument and wept bitterly. Then he sang with great fervour:

Was it for you that these lips trembled?
For you the sweet proffered kiss?
Can such pleasure from an earthly life flow?
Ah! How light and radiance danced before my eyes.
All my senses yearned for those lips!

A longing in those bright eyes sparkled;
A longing that beckoned me tenderly.
All reverberated in my heart.
I lowered my gaze,
And the air resounded with love songs!

Your eyes sparkled like a pair of stars.
Your golden hair cradled your cheeks.
Your glance and your smiles took wing.
Your sweet words awakened in me the deepest longing.
O Kiss! How red and fiery your mouth was!
I died, and in that most beautiful of deaths I first found life.