Steppenwolf – Walther von der Vogelweide

“The discovery would be made — and perhaps very soon — that there were floating round us not only the pictures and events of the transient present in the same way that music from Paris or Berlin was now heard in Frankfurt or Zurich, but that all that had ever happened in the past could be registered and brought back likewise. We might well look for the day when, with wires or without, with or without the disturbance of other sounds, we should hear King Solomon speaking, or Walter von der Vogelweide.”

Steppenwolf, Hermann Hesse

I Thought I’d Served Her Long Enough

I thought I’d served her long enough,
and sat dejected and confused
despairing of the lady’s love,
when something gave my hopes a boost.
You’ll laugh at me (it seems so small,
more of a consolation prize)
for taking comfort there at all;
but I could feel my fortunes rise.

What cheered me was a blade of grass:
I measured out a stalk I’d plucked
(as children do to learn their luck)
and it said she’d offer me her grace.
Listen and judge if you think she might:
‘She will, she won’t, she will, she won’t, she will.’
As much as I’ve tried it, it’s come out right,
but you have to trust in the grass’s skill.

-Walther von der Vogelweide (12th/13th-century troubadour)

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