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


Princess Ilse

By Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)

Translated by C. G. Leland

I AM the Princess Ilse,

And dwell in Ilsenstein:

Come with me to my castle;

Thou shalt be blest,—and mine!

With ever-flowing fountains

I ’ll cool thy weary brow:

Thou ’lt lose, amid the rippling,

The cares which grieve thee now.

In my white arms reposing,

And on my snow-white breast,

Thou ’lt dream of old, old legends,

And sink in joy to rest.

I ’ll kiss thee and caress thee,

As in the ancient day

I kissed the Emperor Henry,

Who long has passed away.

The dead are dead and silent:

Only the living love;

And I am fair and blooming,—

Dost feel my wild heart move?

And as my heart is beating,

My crystal castle rings,

Where many a knight and lady

In merry measure springs.

Silk trains are softly rustling,

Spurs ring from night to morn;

And dwarfs are gayly drumming,

And blow the golden horn.

As round the Emperor Henry,

My arms round thee shall fall:

I held his ears,—he heard not

The trumpet’s warning call.