K. J. Erben (1811–1870)
THE UNKNOWN GUEST
Revels, dancing, music playing,
Jest and song on every side;
Laughing in the groom’s embrace
The ever-smiling, happy bride.
“Up and help yourselves, good people,”
Cries the bridegroom joyously.
“Open every room and cellar,
Take whate’er your fancy be.”
Music plays, they dance; then sudden
Stands a stranger by the groom.
“My life for three times round together
With the bride about the room.”
One round they have danced together.
See from her face the laughter go.
They begin the second circle,
She as deadly pale as snow.
“Why so pale and wan, my sweetheart?
Is it memories you fear?
Or so hard to see your Zdenyek
At your wedding feast appear?”