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The Marienbad Elegy is a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

This poem, considered one of Goethe's finest and most personal,[1][2] reflects the devastating sadness the poet felt when Baroness Ulrike von Levetzow declined his proposal (Goethe did not propose to her personally, but via a friend, Carl August, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach). Goethe was 73 years old, she was 18. He started writing the poem on 5 September 1823 in a coach which carried him from Cheb to Weimar and by his arrival on 12 September, it was finished. He showed it only to his closest friends.[3]

To me is all, I to myself am lost,
Who the immortals' fav'rite erst was thought;
They, tempting, sent Pandoras to my cost,
So rich in wealth, with danger far more fraught;
They urged me to those lips, with rapture crown'd,
Deserted me, and hurl'd me to the ground.
— Goethe, Marienbad Elegy, the last stanza, translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring

Goethe never returned to Bohemia again. He died in Weimar in 1832.


  1. ^ Liukkonen, Petri. "Goethe". Books and Writers (kirjasto.sci.fi). Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Goethe
  3. ^ Goethe's third summer, in Czech

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marienbad_Elegy — Please support Wikipedia.
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4 news items

Fri, 20 Nov 2015 12:36:10 -0800

Experts consider Marienbad Elegy poem as one of Goethe's finest and most personal. Marienbader Elegie which is part of a trilogy that revolves around depression and suicidality (Grossi, 2011). In 1798 Goethe experienced a severe episode of depressed ...

New Yorker

New Yorker
Sun, 27 May 2007 21:11:21 -0700

Once a spa for the rich and famous, much celebrated in literature—as an old man, Goethe had fallen in love with a young thing there, was given the brushoff, and sublimated his grief in a “Marienbad Elegy”—it lay on the other side of the Ore Mountains ...

BBC News

BBC News
Fri, 29 May 2009 10:40:27 -0700

He consoled himself by writing The Marienbad Elegy, one of the triumphs of German literature. But there goes the Oxford Poetry Professorship, lost in the blaze of a Sun headline: Kraut Bard's Last Grope. Ulrike says: "What part of the word Nein don't ...

University of Manchester

University of Manchester
Tue, 15 Dec 2009 01:01:47 -0800

“But out of it he wrote a poem - the Marienbad Elegy- which is one of the greatest poems in literature. “Yeats exploited the power of reflection, a transparency denied to the young. His later poems are some of the greatest in English. These magnificent ...

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