Peregrina III


Confusion entered the moonlit gardens
Of a once holy love.
With horror did I discover the erstwhile deceit.
And with tearful eye, yet cruelly,
I ordered that slender
Enchanting girl
To depart from me.
Alas, her high forehead
Was bowed, for she loved me.
Yet she departed wordlessly
Out into the gray world
She went.

Sick ever since,
My heart wounded and saddened.
Never to be healed!

'tis as if a magic thread spun of air
Were binding us, a fragile band,
That draws, draws me yearning towards her.
—How? As if one day I would find her at my doorstep
Like I did then, at the break of dawn,
Her bundle beside her
Her eyes looking up at me, trusting,
Saying: Here I am again,
Back from a faraway world.


Translation: Charles L. Cingolani      Copyright © 2005



The third poem clarifies the ambiguity of the second and begins with the word that describes what the poem is
about: confusion. The bridegoom has been betrayed, the sham has come to light. Mutual love has been an illusion.
Going back to the first poem and are reminded of her spiritual love. Has she betrayed her worldly lover by being true
to her divine lover? The groom reacts with sudden brutality and casts her out. Without a struggle she departs but
even then he interprets her bowed head to be a sign of her love for him. He realizes he is unable to forget her, the
sting will be lasting. Shifting the time now to the future he sees a vision of a returning, penitent vagrant girl, closer in
reality to the girl Moerike once knew, still harboring the love she had once shown him.


Peregrina III


Ein Irrsal kam in die Mondscheingärten
Einer einst heiligen Liebe.
Schaudernd entdeckt ich verjaehrten Betrug.
Und mit weinendem Blick, doch grausam,
Hieß ich das schlanke,
Zauberhafte Maedchen
Ferne gehen von mir.
Ach, ihre hohe Stirn
War gesenkt, denn sie liebte mich;
Aber sie zog mit Schweigen
Fort in die graue
Welt hinaus.

Krank seitdem,
Wund ist und wehe mein Herz.
Nimmer wird es genesen!

Als ginge, luftgesponnen, ein Zauberfaden
Von ihr zu mir, ein aengstig Band,
So zieht es, zieht mich schmachtend ihr nach!
—Wie? wenn ich eines Tags auf meiner Schwelle
Sie sitzen faende, wie einst, im Morgen-Zwielicht,
Das Wanderbuendel neben ihr,
Und ihr Auge, treuherzig zu mir aufschauend,
Sagte: Da bin ich wieder
Hergekommen aus weiter Welt!


Eduard Moerike    6. Juni 1824