Heinrich Heine: 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
With heavy waves of thick, black tresses.

You are the very one I’ve searched for
In many lands, in every weather.
You are my sort; you understand me;
As equals we can talk together.

In me you’ve found the man you care for.
And, for a while, you’ll richly pay me
With kindness, kisses and endearments—
And then, as usual, you’ll betray me.


The original (Ich liebe solche weiße Glieder) was first published in Neue Gedichte, 1844.
The translation by Louis Untermeyer was published in Poetica Erotica 1921.

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