Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
I. Admiration
Song
Walther von der Vogelweide (c. 1170–c. 1230)
 
From the German by Edgar Taylor

        WHEN from the sod the flowerets spring,
          And smile to meet the sun’s bright ray,
        When birds their sweetest carols sing,
          In all the morning pride of May,
        What lovelier than the prospect there?        5
        Can earth boast anything more fair?
        To me it seems an almost heaven,
So beauteous to my eyes that vision bright is given.
 
        But when a lady chaste and fair,
          Noble, and clad in rich attire,        10
        Walks through the throng with gracious air,
          As sun that bids the stars retire,—
        Then where are all thy boastings, May?
        What hast thou beautiful and gay,
        Compared with that supreme delight?        15
We leave thy loveliest flowers, and watch that lady bright.
 
        Wouldst thou believe me,—come and place
          Before thee all this pride of May,
        Then look but on my lady’s face,
          And which is best and brightest say.        20
        For me, how soon (if choice were mine)
        This would I take, and that resign;
        And say, “Though sweet thy beauties, May,
I ’d rather forfeit all than lose my lady gay!”
 
 
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