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The good and faithful are duly rewarded while inev- itable punishment awaits the wrongdoer. In accordance with this stern sense of justice supernatural agencies are often called upon to come to the assistance of those wrongfully punished or to bring vengeance upon the evildoer. Thus faithlessness is frequently avenged by the ghost of the wronged husband or lover, or by the appearance of the devil or of Death itself in human shape.
Eichendorff-Lieder (Wolf, Hugo)
Ill, the devil appears at a marriage feast, dances with the bride, leads her out of the house and finally claims her soul because of her faithlessness to her first lover. At the crowing of the cock he resumes again his spectral shape and takes her life. By having the catastrophe occur during the wedding feast Eichendorff as well as Heine and Kerner follow a common ' Cf.
Greinz, p. Ein diisterer Hochzeltsgast kann ein- treten, den nlemand gebeten hat, und den doch keiner den Mut hat fortzuweisen, Er sagt der Braut ein Wort ins Ohr, und sie erbleicht.
Er gibt dem Brautigam einen leisen Wink, und dieser folgt ihm aus dem Saaie, wandeit mit ihm weit hinaus in die wehende Nacht und kehrt nimmermehr heim. The rare skill of Eichendorff, frequently noticed in his treatment of such themes, of being able to picture in a few bold strokes the grewsome atmosphere of a tragic situation is well illustrated here. Related to this theme is the conception frequently found in folklore that the dead arise from the grave and protect family or country from threatening danger. The best known adaptation of this popular motive is Heine's ,Die beiden Grenadiere" I, 39 '.
Closely allied to these motives are those in which elves, nixies and similar supernatural beings play a prominent part, and like them they are usually of a tragic nature. In these motives also, the ballad literature of Scotland and of the Scan- dinavian countries offers us the richest store. Talvj, tells of the fortunate escape of a young duke from the spell of a mermaid through the crowing of the cock.
Eichendorff also used these themes in his Romanzen, and throughout his other poems makes occasional reference to watersprites and sirens to create an atmosphere of mystery. At sultry noon the dreamy willows hang down into the cool brook like sirens with long green hair singing strangely of the olden times Am Strom, In the Romanzen, as in the popular ballad, these beings are usually represented as hostile to man.
Technically, how- ever, Eichendorff has prese. In Herder's ballad the knight falls asleep on Elvershoh, in Eichendorff's, on the bank of a stream. As in the popular ballad Eichendoiif's knight is approached by a woman of unusual charm who by all sorts of promises seeks to gain control over him. Gedichte I, The elves approach Olof with the following words: Fischer and Zwei giildne Sporne schenk' ich dir. Sollst deines Siegers Herrin sein. Will baun dir einen Palast schon, In prScht'gen Kleidern sollst du gehn.
It will also be noticed that the meters of the two ballads corres- pond. The Lorelei Motive. To these motives dealing with the seductive charm and treachery of the elf and nixie belongs also the Lorelei theme, so well known through Heine's poem. The legend of the Lorelei is not, as has been generally thought, a pure invention of nine- - 33 - teenth century Romanticism.
It was Brentano who at the be- ginning of the nineteenth century gave new Hfe to this half- forgotten folktale. However he transmitted the popular legend not so much through his ballad, as has generally been supposed, as through his Marchen, for the ballad Jacks every ele- ment except locality of the original tale, while the later version in the Marchen reproduces all its essential characteristics. The importance of Brentano's Marchen in the development of the Lorelei theme both Hessel in his discussion of the legend and Greinz in his treatment of Heine's Lorelei p.
Instead of the perfectly human Lore Lay of the ballad we have here Frau Lureley who dwells with Frau Echo in the Loreley rock and has the power of assuming at stated times the form of a nymph Marchen I, ff. Again Bren- tano tells us in another Marchen Ahnen des Mullers, 1, ff. We have here all the essential elements which the theme assumed in the versions of Eichendorff, Loeben and Heine. But Brentano's Marchen were not published until after his death in , how can they then have influenced Eichen- dorff and Loeben?
Both Loeben and Eichendorff, who lived in intimate contact with Brentano in Berlin during the winter of — 10 can easily have discussed the subject with him. Hertz, Ueber den Namen Lorelei, Sitzungsberichte d. Akademie, Mtlnchen , p. In Watzdorf verlieben. Par [is? March en" p. Whether this laconic reference is to the Miirchen in question is, of course, impossible to say.
Hertz suggests p. With Eichendorff the Lorelei motive takes two distinct forms. The influence of Brentano is here clearly seen. Following his treatment of the theme in the Marchen Eichendorff's Lorelei is a witch of un- usual physical charms and lives in a castle on the rock over- looking the Rhine. Here however his theme changes with the introduction of an essentially human element.
Her heart has been broken through the deception of her lover. She is riding in the forest, is met there by a youth who is instantly charmed by her beauty. She warns him against her evil charms and he recognizes her only after he is hopelessly in her power. In the second part of his theme Eichendorff closely follows Brentano's ballad. Like Eichendorff's Hexe, Brentano's Lore Lay has the power to charm all men except the one whom she herself loves.
Both also exert their evil power against their own desire. In appear d Loeben's version of the Lorelei Pissin, Ged. Its importance among the long list of Lorelei ballads is due not to any special merits of its own but to the — 35 — fact that in both meter and content it became the direct source of Heine's ballad composed two years later'. His Wald- hexe has now become a nixie, seated upon the rock, combing her golden hair, and singing her alluring songs for the destruction of passing sailors.
But his treatment shows also important differences. While in the ballads of Heine and Loeben the tragedy of the sailor is only hinted at at the close, Eichendorff begins with the description of an empty boat, half sunk and without rudder, reserving the de- scription of the nixie, the cause of the tragedy, for the latter part of the poem. Characteristic of Eichendorff is the religious note at the close where the witness to the scene tells us that he too might have been ensnared had not the sound of the chapel bell dispelled the evil charm.
When we consider, however, that Heine's poerti was published almost twenty years before Eichendorff's, the error of such a supposition is at once apparent.
Eichendorff-Lieder (Wolf, Hugo) - IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download
Ini Abend so nnenschein. Werke, 3te Aufl.
I; 44 is a further illustration in point. The power of his song entices the king's daughter from the castle; she escapes with him into the forest where, accor- ding to this version, he finally kills her, according to others she is rescued by her brother, while in some she herself takes revenge upon her seducer by killing him ".
The story is an extremely old one and is frequently met with in the older Ger- manic epics as, for example, in Gudrun I, ff. Here, as in the folk-ballad, the singer apears before the castle. It is nearly as well known to the southern as to the northern nations of Europe- It has an extraordinary currency in Poland.
The Germans, Low and High, and the Scandinavians, preserve it, in a full and evidently ancient form, even in the tradition of this generation.
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In both the girl falls instantly in love with the unknown singer without and follows him. In a few other poems Eichendorff has treated similar themes with a vague romantic suggestiveness far removed from the popular ballad. There is no return for the hunter who follows their song.
In form the latter poem is closely related to the Volkslied, as the following stanza shows: Frischauf, ihr Waldgescllen mein!