Erstes Liebeslied eines Maedchens

Was im Netze? Schau einmal!
Aber ich bin bange;
Greif ich einen suessen Aal?
Greif ich eine Schlange?

Lieb ist blinde
Sagt dem Kinde,
Wo greifts hin?

Schon schnellt mirs in Haenden!
Ach Jammer! o Lust!
Mit Schmiegen und Wenden
Mir schluepfts an die Brust.

Es beisst sich, o Wunder!
Mir keck durch die Haut,
Schiesst’s Herze hinunter!
O Liebe, mir graut!

Was tun, was beginnen?
Das schaurige Ding,
Es schnalzet da drinnen,
Es legt sich im Ring.

Gift muss ich haben!
Hier schleicht es herum,
Tut wonniglich graben
Und bringt mich noch um!

Eduard Moerike 1828

A Girl's First Love Song

Something in the net? Look and see!
But I am afraid;
I grasp a gentle eel?
I grasp a snake?

Love is a blind
Tell the child,
What it's grabbing at?

Already it whisks through my hands!
Ah misery! O lust!
With clinging and twisting
It slips
onto my breast.

It works its way in, o wonder!
So bold through my skin,
Shoots down to my heart!
O love, I shudder!

What can I do, where begin?
That eerie thing,
It's snapping in there,
All coiled in a ring.

I must
have poison!
I feel it slithering in me,
Keeps digging blissfully,
It'll be the death of me!

Translation: Charles L. Cingolani     Copyright © 2013
. . . Moerike's realistic description of the fears aroused in an innocent girl . . .
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