Heine Dying

by Aidan Andrew Dun


The thin partition
between the worlds
grows thinner
day by day: he dies.

No mountain
underneath can soften
the contours of this
valley below.

In the next apartment
a small piano
disgorges strange
renditions, ach Gott!

The iron roar
of the ocean of Paris
forms a vast chord

Had he married
the Landgrave’s daughter
health would be sound
if fame uncertain.

Every false-note
shrieks from a left hand
hammering the name
of a cheap wooden girl.

Death is always
out-of-tune and early
thumping away
in the small hours.

The demon seems
to transmit himself freely
walls and morals
don’t keep him out.

Another surge
of the agony rises
is this the wave
that will float him off?

The dividing wall
is transparent blue water
behind is the
discordant angel.

She has the golden hair
of Deutschland
listen, she plays
a Dresden harp.

Heinrich Heine dead mask