by Karl August Georg Max, Graf von Platen-Hallermunde
translated by Reginald Bancrofte Cooke
I was a poet born but blows to earn
Of the ill times in which my lot was cast;
But drank of fame ere yet my youth was past,
And left my impress on the speech in turn.
Ne'er in the school of art slothful to learn,
It therefore fell to me new paths to blast,
And to pour forth my soul in rhymes, to last
To distant times, if rightly I discern.
I fashioned songs from various themes, as well
As comedies and legends of the brave,
All in a style which no one could excel.
The second prize for odes to me they gave,
Life's hopes and sorrowings my sonnets tell,
And I have sung these verses for my grave.