CONVERSATION IN THE FOREST (1815)
Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff
"It is so late, it grows so cold,
Why ridest thou lonely cross the wold?
The forest is long, thou art alone,
O lovely maid! I'll take thee home!"
"Boundless is men's deceitful lore.
With grief my heart is pierced to the core.
The hunting horn wanders to and fro.
O flee! who I am thou dost not know."
"So richly decked palfrey and maiden slim,
So fair of face, so fair of limb.
I know thee now — may God stand by!
Thou art the witch called Lorelei."
"Thou know'st me well. My castle fine
From highest cliff looks deep in the Rhine.
It is so late, it is so cold,
No more wilt thou escape this wold."
-German title: Waldesgespräch.
(Illustration is Sir Frank Dicksee, La Belle Dame sans Merci, c.1902.)