Published on Academy of American Poets (

The Chaplet


  "Es pflückte Blümlein mannigfalt."

  A little girl through field and wood
    Went plucking flowerets here and there,
  When suddenly beside her stood
    A lady wondrous fair!

  The lovely lady smiled, and laid
    A wreath upon the maiden's brow;
  "Wear it, 'twill blossom soon," she said,
    "Although 'tis leafless now."

  The little maiden older grew
    And wandered forth of moonlight eves,
  And sighed and loved as maids will do;
    When, lo! her wreath bore leaves.

  Then was our maid a wife, and hung
    Upon a joyful bridegroom's bosom;
  When from the garland's leaves there sprung
    Fair store of blossom.

  And presently a baby fair
    Upon her gentle breast she reared;
  When midst the wreath that bound her hair
    Rich golden fruit appeared.

  But when her love lay cold in death,
    Sunk in the black and silent tomb,
  All sere and withered was the wreath
    That wont so bright to bloom.

  Yet still the withered wreath she wore;
    She wore it at her dying hour;
  When, to the wondrous garland bore
    Both leaf, and fruit, and flower!


This poem is in the public domain. 

About this Poem

From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).



William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray, born July 18, 1811, was an English writer best known for his novels, particularly The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. (The Mershon Company Publishers, 1852) and Vanity Fair (Bradbury and Evans, 1848). While in school, Thackeray began writing poems, which he published in a number of magazines, chiefly Fraser and Punch. He died on December 24, 1863.

Date Published: 2018-07-11

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