The Three Gipsies

Nikolaus Franz Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau 1802 (Csatád, (Schadat)) – 1850 (Oberdöbling near Vienna)

Three gipsy men I saw one day
Stretched out on the grass together,
As wearily o'er the sandy way
My wagon brushed the heather.

The first of the three was fiddling there
In the glow of evening pallid,
Playing a wild and passionate air,
The tune of some gipsy ballad.

From the second's pipe the smoke-wreaths curled,
He watched them melt at his leisure.
So full of content, it seemed the world
Had naught to add to his pleasure.

And what of the third?--He was fast asleep,
His harp to a bough confided;
The breezes across the strings did sweep,
A dream o'er his heart-strings glided.

The garb of all was worn and frayed,
With tatters grotesquely mended;
But flouting the world, and undismayed,
The three with fate contended.

They showed me how, by three-fold scoff,
When cares of life perplex us,
To smoke, or sleep, or fiddle them off,
And scorn the ills that vex us.

I passed them, but my gaze for long
Dwelt on the trio surly--
Their dark bronze features sharp and strong,
Their loose hair black and curly.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

56 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 988
Words 186
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Nikolaus Franz Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau

Nikolaus Lenau was the nom de plume of Nikolaus Franz Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau (13 August 1802 – 22 August 1850), a German-language Austrian poet.  more…

All Nikolaus Franz Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau poems | Nikolaus Franz Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau Books

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