Lenore: Gottfried August Bürger: Bürger published the ballad “Lenore,” a spectral romance in which a ghostly rider, posing as Lenore’s dead lover, carries her. Leonora has 48 ratings and 5 reviews. Suvi said: Lenore complains to God how he has treated her unfairly, because her fiancé William still hasn’t returne. Full text transcription of Gottfried Burger’s ballad, ‘Lenora’ (translated by Thomas Taylor), as well as an invitation to students to join a collaborative project related.

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Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. When he wrote it he supposed it to be a spirited and a good translation: I supposed the same, and continued to be extremely familiar with it for some years ensuing.

After a certain space of time my brother neglected the performance, and it dropped entirely out of his thoughts. I heard no more of it, and probably never, after or some such date, set eyes upon any manuscript or any portion of it. No such manuscript was in my brother’s possession at the date of his death, April At last one of the few copies which in he made of the translation has turned up. Sotheby, Wilkinson, and Hodge, on November 26th,and was there bought by Mr.

On its being shown to me, I adhered to the opinion of my boyhood — that it is a good rendering, far rather than a bad one. I think it perfectly worthy of publication.

This appears to be the first translation of any sort of importance that Dante Rossetti ever undertook. In he had begun the study of German under Dr.

Adolf Heimann, of University College, London, — a most kind friend as well as excellent instructor. My brother learned the language pretty well, but not so as to have an absolute and ready mastery over it. Heimann must have coached him up to some extent when his juvenile ambition pointed to Leiiore. Soon afterwards he translated the Anne Heinrich of Hartmann von Aue — published in in his Collected Works as Henry the Leper ; and I need not scruple to say that he made a capital thing of it.

In October he began a version of the Nibebingenlied. IRote 7 of Lenore, who knows but that the N ibdiingcnlicd only a few of the opening chaunts were translated may also re- appear? It is rather noticeable that these first essays in verse-translation should all have been from the German — a language which Rossetti never knew thoroughly, which, after early youth was past, he did not in any way keep up, and which he may be said to have all but wholly forgotten in course of time.

His translations from the Italian — which he knew very well, and from the most childish years — began probably innot earlier than the period when he ventured upon the Nibeluugenlied. In his preface to the volume TJte Early Italian Poets Dante Rossetti explained his general views as to what are the obligations incumbent upon a translator.

They amount to this: In his version of Lenore he has conformed very fairly to these rules.

Gottfried Burger – Lenore

Literal it most certainly is not, but it 8 prefatory IRote is moderately faithful. He allows himself contrary to his original the latitude of leaving lines i and 3 in each stanza unrhymed and of lengthening lines 7 and 8 from three feet to four.

I myself regard this latter change as a decided improvement to the fottfried The most salient modification, however, is in general tone.

The Lenore of Burger is, notwithstanding its startling and grisly theme, noticeably simple in treat- ment: Rossetti has largely reinforced it on the picturesque or romantic side.


It may perhaps have been by mere in- advertence that he turns the religious atmosphere of the poem, which is manifestly Protestant, into Roman Catholic: In stanza 15 the translator is wrong in indicating that midnight is already past, for the clock afterwards strikes eleven ; and in stanza 17 the ghostly bridegroom, in saying ” zur VVette,” only means ” I wager you,” and not “‘Tis for a wager I bear thee away.

Wie flogen oben iiber hin Der Himmel und die Sterne! Der Mond scheint hell! Graut Liebchcn auch vor Todten? Lass ruhn die Todten! It takes gottfrued literary form of a modern-antique, and throws the period of the ballad back auguust the Seven Years’ War to crusading times.

Next, Sir Walter Scott, inpublished a version anonymously. He borrowed from his predecessor not from Burger the well-known lines — ” Tramp tramp along the land they rode, Splash splash along the sea — ” only substituting the word “along” for “across”.

Con- sidering that, according to Scott’s and Taylor’s translations, lo prefatory IFlote the lovers are riding to Hungary, the second of these lines is just as reasonable as Shakespear’s ” Bohemia near the Sea ” ; for where docs the sea come in any ride to Hungary? Scott’s William and Helen, as he entitled it, can hardly be called a translation: Several passages here and there are however translated closely enough.

This rendering by Scott — not any other rendering of the ballad — must have been highly familiar to Dante Rossetti several years before he undertook his own version. In a translation, Leonora, was published by W. It is, I think, barely less faithful than Rossetti’s version ; the difference being that, while the latter exceeds in picturesque colouring, Spencer loads up the then accepted pomposities of ” poetic diction. On the whole it is a creditable performance.

There are also translations by Pye, pvefatorv? IRote n the Poet Laureate, and by J. Stanley, nearly contempo- raneous with Spencer’s. The Laureate was not extremely faithful to his original in substance, and not at all in metre ; and Lenorf think his version hardly as good as the average of others. Stanley might pass muster tolerably enough, were it not that he has stupidly added to the ballad a long tag of his own, turning the whole affair into a dream.

The famous designer Retzsch made a gottffied of outlines to Loiore, published at Leipsic inwith the text in German, and likewise in an English rendering by F.

Of all the translations that I have seen, this is augudt faithfullest. The metre is correctly followed, and the diction comes as close as one could demand.

Many lines however are very poor, from a poetic or literary point of view. What could be more miserable than “What ho! As will be seen, all the translations of which I have as yet spoken were produced before that of Dante Rossetti.

The following two arc of later date. Julia 12 hrger IRote Margaret Cameron the same lady, a valued friend of mine, who afterwards produced a considerable impression by her splendid pictorial-looking photographs published an orna- mental volume — her own rendering of Lenore, accompanied by steel-engravings after Maclise.

Between the translation and the designs there is an odd discrepancy ; for the former is correct to the date indicated by Burger, whereas the latter are mediaeval. Cameron, in her preface, seems to suppose that her rendering is a strictly faithful one, but I can only say that she was mistaken: In there was a translation by John Oxenford, a good German scholar: Macfarren pro- duced at gottfriee Birmingham Festival.

There are lneore other versions of Lenore, known to me little or not at all: I say it without hesitation. Some of the other renderings — as Taylor’s, Scott’s, and Stanley’s — are put out of count by arbitrary alterations: It may be as well lenorr state here that, as the Lenore was the first translation of any importance that he produced, so also was it the first favourable example of his powers as a verse-writer.


His original ballad-poem of Sir Hugh the Heron, written mostly at the age of twelve, was not indeed worse than one would expect from so boyish a hand, but no human being who knows the meaning of the word ” good ” can apply that epithet to Sir Hugli the Heron ; and another shorter ballad, William and Marie, which he composed at the age of about fourteen, is even inferior to its precursor.

This William and Marie, as it happens, was sold at the same auction-sale in which Lenore was included: I presume that it is a bryer deal less familiar gortfried the present generation. I will therefore say a few words about the ballad and its author. Gottfried August Burger, a very ill-starred specimen of the poetic race, was gottfrued on January ist,son of a Lutheran minister, at Molmerswende in Halberstadt.

He was fond of romantic solitude, and was anything but a strict moralist. His face is not an interesting one: A professorship at Gottingen, without fixed salary, formed his principal dependence.

Lenore (Rossetti) – Wikisource, the free online library

Lenore, published towardswas the first poem of his to fix attention, which it effectually did ; there was also the equally celebrated Wild Huntsman.

Lenor in most things, Burger was specially unlucky in his marriages, three in number. As soon as he gkttfried married to one Leonhart, he fell desperately in love with another, the younger sister whom he has celebrated under the name of Molly. Ipfefatoni 1Rote is The wife, worn out with troubles and mortifications, died in Burger forthwith espoused his Molly; but she also soon died, inin childbed.

Lenore (ballad)

This is rather a curious parallel to the case of the thrice-wedded poet of England, Milton, whose second wife also expired in childbed. Burger was still glttfried to try his chance in the xugust lottery. Before his choice had been fixed he received a letter from Stuttgart, written by a young lady in cultivated and feeling language.

She professed enthusiasm for his poetry, and willingness to bestow her hand upon him. The poet, after making some inquiry, was only too eager to assent, and he brought home his third bride.

But the result was a woful failure. The lady became faithless to her husband, made his life a torment, and, in less than three years, had to be divorced. Burger did not survive this break-up for long. He was very poor, he was harassed by a bitter critique written by Schiller, and everything seemed to go wrong with him.

In June he died, aged only forty-six. The original Manuscript of the youthftd translator has been strictly followed in the printing, as regards sf citing, punctuation, etc. Up rose Lenore as the red morn wore, From weary visions starting ; ” Art faithless, William, or, William, art dead?

And sad was the true heart that sickened afar. And the martial throng, with laugh and song, Spoke of their homes as they rode along. And clank, clank, clank!


With the trumpet-sound that rose and sank. And here and there and everywhere. Along the swarming ways. Went old man and boy, with the music of joy. On the gallant bands to gaze ; And the young child shouted to spy the vaward, And leenore and blushing the bride pressed forward: