The Sea Hath Its Pearls

by Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)

English translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The sea hath its pearls,
The heaven hath its stars;
But my heart, my heart,
My heart hath its love.

Great are the sea, and the heaven;
Yet greater is my heart,
And fairer than pearls or stars
Flashes and beams my love.

Thou little, youthful maiden,
Come unto my great heart;
My heart, and the sea and the heaven
Are melting away with love!

Original German (untitled):

Das Meer hat seine Perlen,
Der Himmel hat seine Sterne,
Aber mein Herz, mein Herz,
Mein Herz hat seine Liebe.

Groß ist das Meer und der Himmel,
Doch größer ist mein Herz,
Und schöner als Perlen und Sterne
Leuchtet und strahlt meine Liebe.

Du kleines, junges Mädchen,
Komm an mein großes Herz;
Mein Herz und das Meer und der Himmel
Vergehn vor lauter Liebe.

Heinrich Heine

Heinrich Heine lived at a time of major social and political changes. The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars deeply influenced thinking. He was born in Düsseldorf, Germany on December 13, 1797 and emigrated to Paris in 1831. There he became a prominent figure on the literary scene. He died at the age of 58 on February 17, 1856.

Heinrich Heine Contemporaries
John Clare
William Cullen Bryant
Thomas Love Peacock
Leigh Hunt

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