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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

As it will Happen

By Emanuel Geibel (1815–1884)

Translation of Frances Hellman

“HE loves thee not! He trifles but with thee!”

They said to her, and then she bowed her head,

And pearly tears, like roses’ dew, wept she.

Oh, that she ever trusted what they said!

For when he came and found his bride in doubt,

Then, from sheer spite, he would not show his sorrow;

He played and laughed and drank, day in, day out,—

To weep from night until the morrow!

’Tis true, an angel whispered in her heart,

“He’s faithful still; oh lay thy hand in his!”

And he too felt, ’midst grief and bitter smart,

“She loves thee! After all, thy love she is;

Let but a gentle word pass on each side,

The spell that parts you now will then be broken!”

They came—each looked on each—oh, evil pride!—

That single word remained unspoken!

They parted then. As in a church one oft

Extinguished sees the altar lamps’ red fires,

Their light grows dim, then once more flares aloft

In radiance bright,—and thereupon expires,—

So died their love; at first lamented o’er,

Then yearned for ardently, and then—forgotten,

Until the thought that they had loved before

Of mere delusion seemed begotten!

But sometimes when the moon shone out at night,

Each started from his couch! Ah, was it not

Bedewed with tears? And tears, too, dimmed their sight,

Because these two had dreamed—I know not what!

And then the dear old times woke in their heart,

Their foolish doubts, their parting, that had driven

Their souls so far, so very far apart,—

Oh God! let both now be forgiven!