Karl Marx’s Early Literary Experiments

My World

Written: written in October - December 1836;
Source: MECW, Volume 1;
Transcribed: by jim.esch@launchpad.unc.edu.

Worlds my longing cannot ever still,
    Nor yet Gods with magic blest;
Higher than them all is my own Will,
    Stormily wakeful in my breast.

Drank I all the stars’ bright radiance,
    All the light by suns o'erspilled,
Still my pains would want for recompense,
    And my dreams be unfulfilled.

Hence! To endless battle, to the striving
    Like a Talisman out there,
Demon-wise into the far mists driving
    Towards a goal I cannot near.

But it’s only ruins and dead stones
    That encompass all my yearning,
Where in shimmering Heavenly radiance
    All my hopes flow, ever-burning.

They are nothing more than narrow rooms
    Ringed by timid people round,
Where it stands, the frontier of my dreams,
    Where my hopes reach journey’s end.

Jenny, can you ask what my words say,
    And what meaning hides within?
Ah! ‘Twere useless to speak anyway,
    Futile even to begin.

Look into those eyes of yours so bright,
    Deeper than the floor of Heaven,
Clearer than the sun’s own beaming light,
    And the answer shall be given.

Dare to joy in life and being fair,
    Only press your own white hand;
You yourself shall find the answer there,
    Know my distant Heaven-land.

Ah! When your lips only breathed to me,
    Only one warm word to say,
Then I dived into mad ecstasy,
    Helpless I was swept away.

Ha! In nerve and spirit I was stricken,
    To the bottom of my soul,
As a Demon, when the High Magician
    Strikes with lightning bolt and spell.

Yet why should words try to force in vain,
    Being sound and misty pall,
What is infinite, like yearning’s pain,
    Like yourself, and like the All.