(13 December 1797 – 17 February 1856 / Dusseldorf)

Es War Ein Alter König

There was a king, now ageing,
With heart of lead, and head so grey.
He took a wife, the old king,
A young wife too, men say.
There was a handsome pageboy
With hair of gold, and thoughts so free:
He bore the silks with joy
That trailed behind the queen.
Do you know the ancient singing?
It rings so true: it rings so sweet!
Both had to die, of loving,
Of love that was too deep.

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Comments (2)

Was it perhaps the young wife the queen and the 'handsome pageboy With hair of gold, and thoughts so free: ... That trailed behind the queen, who had to die for love's misdeeds?
Neue Gedichte (1844) Neuer Frühling XXIX. Es war ein alter König, 
Sein Herz war schwer, sein Haupt war grau; 
Der arme alte König, 
 Er nahm eine junge Frau.
 Es war ein schöner Page, Blond war sein Haupt, leicht war sein Sinn; 
 Er trug die seidne Schleppe 
Der jungen Königin.

 Kennst du das alte Liedchen? Es klingt so süß, es klingt so trüb! Sie mußten beyde sterben, 
 Sie hatten sich viel zu lieb.