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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII. 1876–79.


Anke von Tharaw

By Simon Dach (1605–1659)

  • Translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • This song of Simon Dach, though apparently written in a tone of great tenderness, is in fact a satire upon a lady who proved untrue to him. In after life he could not forgive himself for having taken this poetical revenge. On his death-bed, after a violent spasm of pain, he exclaimed: “Ah! that was for the song of Anke von Tharaw.”

  • ANNIE of Tharaw, my true love of old,

    She is my life and my goods and my gold.

    Annie of Tharaw, her heart once again

    To me has surrendered in joy and in pain.

    Annie of Tharaw, my riches, my good,

    Thou, O my soul, my flesh, and my blood!

    Then come the wild weather, come sleet or come snow

    We will stand by each other, however it blow.

    Oppression and sickness and sorrow and pain

    Shall be to our true love as links to the chain.

    As the palm-tree standeth so straight and so tall,

    The more the hail beats, and the more the rains fall,—

    So love in our hearts shall grow mighty and strong,

    Through crosses, through sorrows, through manifold wrong.

    Shouldst thou be torn from me to wander alone

    In a desolate land where the sun is scarce known,—

    Through forests I ’ll follow, and where the sea flows,

    Through ice, and through iron, through armies of foes.

    Annie of Tharaw, my light and my sun,

    The threads of our two lives are woven in one.

    Whate’er I have bidden thee thou hast obeyed,

    Whatever forbidden thou hast not gainsaid.

    How in the turmoil of life can love stand,

    Where there is not one heart and one mouth and one hand?

    Some seek for dissension and trouble and strife:

    Like a dog and a cat live such man and wife.

    Annie of Tharaw, such is not our love;

    Thou art my lambkin, my chick, and my dove.

    Whate’er my desire is, in thine may be seen;

    I am king of the household, and thou art its queen.

    It is this, O my Annie, my heart’s sweetest rest,

    That makes of us twain but one soul in one breast.

    This turns to a heaven the hut where we dwell;

    While wrangling soon changes a home to a hell.