Song: Translated from the German of Walther von der Vogelweide


Under the lime-tree, on the daisied ground,
   Two that I know of made their bed;
There you may see, heaped and scattered round,
   Grass and blossoms, broken and shed,
All in a thicket down in the dale;
Sweetly sang the nightingale.


Ere I set foot in the meadow, already
   Some one was waiting for somebody;
There was a meeting—O gracious Lady!
   There is no pleasure again for me.
Thousands of kisses there he took,
See my lips, how red they look!


Leaf and blossom he had pulled and piled
   For a couch, a green one, soft and high;
And many a one hath gazed and smiled,
   Passing the bower and pressed grass by;
And the roses crushed hath seen,
Where I laid my head between.


In this love passage, if any one had been there,
   How sad and shamed should I be!
But what were we a doing alone among the green there,
   No soul shall ever know except my love and me,
And the little nightingale.
She, I think, will tell no tale.

[Kelsall, 1851]