Heine, Heinrich - I called the devil and he came
Type of Spiritual Experience
The following is both an allegorical description, but also a humorous dig at the men who use the functions the Devil represents most often – politicians, Church men, critics, lawyers - Heine also has a go at a poet and philosopher he knew who clearly used ‘Devil functions’ too.
A description of the experience
Poems Selected from Heinrich Heine – by Kate Freiligrath Kroeker
I called the devil and he came
To view him with wonder I began
He is not ugly he is not lame
Far from it, he is a charming man
A man in his vigour still of his years
A man of the world and polite he appears.
His talent is as diplomatist great
He speaks right well upon Church and State.
No wonder he's pale and wrinkled his brow
Since Sanscrit and Hegel he studies now
His favourite poet is Fouque still.
In criticism he does no more
He hath abandoned for evermore
To his grandam Hecate the critic's quill.
He was glad my studies in law to view
'Twas once his favourite study too
My friendship could not be, he said,
Too dear for him, then nodded his head
And asked if we had not once before
At the Spanish Ambassador's seen each other
And when I looked at his face once more
I found we already knew one another