This German poet was born into royalty at her ancestral castle of Meersburg near Münster and never married although she found young suitors during her lifetime. She is considered to be a preeminent female poet of the 19th century. (The accompanying photos are actually of Meersburg Castle and the statue of Droste-Hülshoff.)
by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff
Where starlings scream and swirl in air;
As though I were a maenad, Storm,
You run your fingers through my hair.
O spirit free, entrancing youth,
Here at the very railing, I
Would wrestle, hip to hip, against
Your hold; become alive- or die.
Below, along the sandy beach,
I see the whitecaps leap in play
Darting in hissing, sparkling spray.
Oh, I would join them in their game,
Pursuing walrus, sportive prey,
Leading the romping pack through glades
Of coral, hunting dolphins gay.
Far off I see a pennant stream,
Bold as an admiral’s banner;
I watch the masts bob in the sea,
From safe in my high-towered manor.
Oh, I would rule that tossing ship
And hold helm firm and guide her true,
Skim lightly over foaming reefs
As brushing wings of seagulls do.
If I could hunt the open fields,
Or march to war, a soldier tall,
If heaven listen to my plea,
Made me a man, even though small!
Instead, I sit here- delicate,
Polite, precise, well-mannered child.
Dreams shake my loosened hair- the wind
Lone listener to my spirit wild.