This poem, considered one of Goethe's finest and most personal, reflects the devastating sadness the poet felt when Baroness Ulrike von Levetzow declined his proposal (Goethe did not propose to her personally, but via a friend, Karl August, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach). Goethe was 73 years old, she was 18. He started writing the poem on 5 September 1823 in a coach which carried him from Eger (now called Cheb) to Weimar and by his arrival on 12 September, it was finished. He showed it only to his closest friends.
- To me is all, I to myself am lost,
- Who the immortals' fav'rite erst was thought;
- They, tempting, sent Pandoras to my cost,
- So rich in wealth, with danger far more fraught;
- They urged me to those lips, with rapture crown'd,
- Deserted me, and hurl'd me to the ground.
Goethe never returned to Bohemia again. He died in Weimar in 1832.
- Liukkonen, Petri. "Goethe". Books and Writers (kirjasto.sci.fi). Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 6 August 2008.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Stanley (1999). 103 Great Poems: A Dual-language Book. Translated by Appelbaum. Courier Corporation. p. xxiv. ISBN 0486406679.
'Marienbad Elegy' [...] has been called Goethe's greatest poem.
- Goethe Archived 2008-08-07 at the Wayback Machine.
- Goethe's third summer, in Czech
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