Open main menu

MÖRIKE, mė'rĭ-kë, Eduard, German lyric poet and short-story writer: b. Ludwigsburg, Württemberg, 8 Sept. 1804; d. Stuttgart, 4 June 1875. His father was Kreis Medical Councillor Karl Friedrich Mörike, d. 1817; his mother Charlotte, née Bayer. He attended the Latin school at Ludwigsburg, the seminary at Urach (1818), where he made the acquaintance of Wilhelm Hartlaub and Wilhelm Waiblinger; and the divinity school at Tübingen where he came into contact with Ludwig Bauer, David Friedrich Strauss and F. T. Vischer. After completing his studies at these theological institutions, he spent the greater part of his life as a country pastor in various parts of Württemberg. His longest incumbency was at Cleversulzbach (1834-43), where he associated with Justinus Kerner, Hermann Kurz, Uhland and Karl Mayer. From 1851 to 1866 he taught literature at the Stuttgart Katharinenstift, receiving the title of professor in 1856. His first literary work was the short novel of artist life, ‘Maler Nolten,’ which passed through many revisions and was printed in its final form after his death (1877). His shorter stories are more finished artistically, especially ‘Mozart auf der Reise nach Prag’ (Stuttgart 1856). As a lyricist, no other Suabian poet attains his simple yet perfect form. His observations of life and of nature are realistic, and his depth of feeling sometimes approaches Goethe's. Some of his poems have even become favorites among the people, especially the ballad ‘Schön Rotraut,’ opening with the line: ‘Wie heisst König Ringangs Töchterlein?’