The Devil Take Your Mother

by Heinrich Heine

Translated from the German by Terese Coe

The devil take your mother,
the devil take your father,
who grimly stood and blocked me
from watching you in the theater.

At last they sat down and gave me
a glimpse, for a fleeting second,
of you in the loge behind them,
and secretly, you beckoned.

And they sat and watched as love
was perverted with suspicion,
and clapped with wild approval
when the lovers went to perdition.

 

Correction: the print edition of the Spring 2017 Hopkins Review lists Heinrich Heine as the copyright holder of this poem; the copyright holder of the English translation of the poem is Terese Coe.