Peregrina III


Chaos entered the moonlit gardens
Of a once holy love.
With horror did I discover the erstwhile deceit.
And with tearful eye, yet mercilessly,
I ordered that slender
Enchanting girl
To depart from me.
Alas, her high forehead
Was bowed, for she loved me.
Yet she went away
Without a word
Out into the gray world.

Sick ever since,
My heart wounded and saddened.
Never will it 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
Sitting at my doorstep
Like I did once, 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.
This was to be a spiritual love. But 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 now 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. At the end the
time is shifted to the future. He sees a vision of a returning, penitent vagrant girl. It is the girl Moerike once knew,
Maria Mayer, 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