Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was one of the most significant German poets of the 19th century. He was also a journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of Lieder (art songs) by composers such as Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. Heine's later verse and prose is distinguished by its satirical wit and irony. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities. Heine spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris.
Childhood and Youth
Heine was born in Düsseldorf, Rhineland, into a Jewish family. He was called ... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Heinrich Heine Poems
A single fir-tree, lonely, on a northern mountain height, sleeps in a white blanket, draped in snow and ice.
Death and his Brother Sleep (‘Morphine’)
There’s a mirror likeness between those two shining, youthfully-fledged figures, though one seems paler than the other and more austere, I might even say more perfect, more distinguished,
Our death is in the cool of night, our life is in the pool of day. The darkness glows, I’m drowning, the day has tired me with light.
Ich Weiss Nicht, Was Soll Es Bedeuten
I don’t know what it could mean, Or why I’m so sad: I find, A fairy-tale, from times unseen, Won’t vanish from my mind.
I Love This White And Slender Body
I Love this white and slender body, These limbs that answer Love's caresses, Passionate eyes, and forehead covered
E'en As A lovely Flower
E'en as a lovely flower, So fair, so pure thou art; I gaze on thee, and sadness Comes stealing o'er my heart.
They loved each other with love so deep, She was a tramp and he was a thief. When he was plying his naughty craft,
Einst Sah Ich Viele
I saw a crowd of flowers in bloom, On my way: too lazy of course To stir myself and pick them too, I rode on by, on my proud horse.
From 'To Seraphime'
Through the wood when I am wandering In the dusky eventide, Goes a dainty form in silence
Ich Kann Es Nicht Vergessen
I can’t forget I had you, Dear woman, sweet to hold, That I once possessed you, Your body, and your soul.
Every day so lovely, shining, up and down, the Sultan’s daughter walked at evening by the water, where the white fountain splashes.
My golden-haired beauty, I’m always sure of seeing, In the Tuileries Gardens, Under the chestnut trees.
Es War Ein Alter König
There was a king, now ageing, With heart of lead, and head so grey. He took a wife, the old king, A young wife too, men say.
A single fir-tree, lonely, On a northern mountain height, Sleeps in a white blanket,
Quotationsmore quotations »
''Of course God will forgive me; that's His job.''Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), German poet, journalist. quoted in Journal, Feb. 23, 1863, eds. Edmond and Charles Goncourt (1956). Said on his deathb...
''Whatever tears one may shed, in the end one always blows one's nose.''Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), German poet, journalist. quoted in Simone de Beauvoir, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, bk. 3 (1958, trans. 1959).
In action, the English have the advantage enjoyed by free men always entitled to free discussion: of having a ready judgment on every question. We Germans, on the other hand, are always thinking. We t...Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), German poet, journalist. repr. In Heinrich Heine: Works of Prose, ed. Hermann Kesten (1943). "The English Freedom," French...
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
A single fir-tree, lonely,
on a northern mountain height,
sleeps in a white blanket,
draped in snow and ice.
His dreams are of a palm-tree,
who, far in eastern lands,
weeps, all alone and silent,
among the burning sands.