Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Marienbad Elegy

The Marienbad Elegy is a poem written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe after the refusal of his proposal of marriage. He was 72; she was 17. He was devastated. She never married. You can read it online here. It closes with this:
Leave me here now, my life's companions true!
Leave me alone on rock, in moor and heath;
But courage! open lies the world to you,
The glorious heavens above, the earth beneath;
Observe, investigate, with searching eyes,
And nature will disclose her mysteries.

To me is all, I to myself am lost,
Who the immortals' favourite erst was thought;
They, tempting, sent Pandoras to my cost,
So rich in wealth, with danger far more fraught;
They urged me to those lips, with rapture crowned,
Deserted me, and hurled me to the ground.


  1. HMMM! The age difference may have been a contributing factor, don't you think (grin)?

    1. I read something that said the girl's mother opposed the marriage. I'd surely oppose such a match for my daughter. lol

  2. Goodness, did he really think a 17 year old was going to marry him? Sounds a bit batty to me but I did enjoy reading the poem that came as a result of it.


    1. The site says her family's opposition to it was the main impediment, and has their ages at 19 and almost-74. I'd love to know how she felt.

  3. Reminds me of YouTube clips with Keith Richards singing a duet of "Love Hurts" with Nora Jones -- lot of YouTube comments sneering about age differential -- at same concert Nora and Keith traded vocal lines on a provocative verse of "Wild Horses", with some provocative eye contact by Nora as they sang -- but in an age of #MeToo maybe we're not allowed to believe May-December can actually be tempting for both parties --