From the German


“Come with me, thou gentle maid,
“The stars are strong, and make a shade
“Of yew across your mother’s tomb;
“Leave your chamber’s vine-leaved gloom,
   “Leave your harp-strings, loved one,
“‘Tis our hour;” the robber said;
   “Yonder comes the goblins’ sun,
“For, when men are still in bed,
“Day begins with the old dead.
“Leave your flowers so dewed with weeping,
“And our feverish baby sleeping;
“Come to me, thou gentle maid,
“‘Tis our hour.” The robber said.


To the wood, whose shade is night,
Went they in the owls’ moonlight.
As they passed, the common wild
Like a murderous jester smiled,
   Dimpled twice with nettly graves.
You may mark her garment white,
   In the night-wind how it waves:
The night-wind to the churchyard flew,
And whispered underneath the yew;
“Mother churchyard, in my breath,
“I’ve a lady’s sigh of death.”
—”Sleep thou there, thou robber’s wife.”
Said he, clasping his wet knife.

[Kelsall, 1851]