Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXVI. Melancholy
‘O Dearest, canst thou tell me why’
By Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)
Translated by Richard Garnett

O DEAREST, canst thou tell me why
  The rose should be so pale?
And why the azure violet
  Should wither in the vale?
And why the lark should in the cloud        5
  So sorrowfully sing?
And why from loveliest balsam-buds
  A scent of death should spring?
And why the sun upon the mead
  So chillingly should frown?        10
And why the earth should, like a grave,
  Be mouldering and brown?
And why it is that I myself
  So languishing should be?
And why it is, my heart of hearts,        15
  That thou forsakest me?

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