Early Works of Karl Marx: Book of Verse

(Additional verses not on index)

The Viennese Ape Theatre in Berlin


"The public's shoving, unafraid of bruises!
Some Talma there, perhaps, home of the Muses!"
Please, friend, sharp weapons don't attract.
It's comedy--by apes that act.

At ease, I watched the apes put on
Their show. And it was good clean fun.
So natural--just one thing missing,
Which was, to use the walls for p--.

Suddenly, somebody plucked my cloak.
"Really, that was a peculiar joke!
A young girl swooned at what she saw,
Flew on a monkey's breast and claws.
She batted her eyes, said timidly:
'O depths of exquisite agony!
O harmony! Delicious sorrow!
That monkey thrills me to the marrow!
I feel as if I were magnetised,
The ape played me; I loved him, hypnotised.
O monkey, speak, for I'm bewitched by you!
I just can't breathe, my head is spinning, too!"

Sir (G)luck's Armide


I also sought amusement, so
I spared no money for a show,
Threw on my frock-coat by lamplight,
And entered the nearest box that night.
I got much worse than I'd bargained for;
Oh, how I cursed myself and swore.
A missie needs must make me hold
The libretto. I muttered, "My hand feels cold!"
"Well, then, wear gloves!" the lady cried.
"They get on my nerves, Miss!" I replied.
She bared her neck and bosom and all,
And asked me to keep an eye on her shawl.
Said I to her, "The fire burns low,
And raw flesh gives me vertigo!"
She shrieked, "Oh, wasn't the ballet divine!"
Said I, "O God, has the gazette got anything worth
reading about in the meantime?"


I sat, lost in the music's spell.
She sneered, "The man's a fool as well!"

Terms of Engagement

Mistress: Now then, just what d'you want of me?
Maid: The usual terms. But one more thing-
To avoid any family quarrelling,
I must have visitors once a month for tea.

Sentimental Souls

The butcher's slaughtering a calf. They cry.
The creature bellows till it's been bled dry.
They laugh. O Heaven, how very, very weird
The ways of Nature. A dog wears no beard.
Why all these ravings, as if from sunstroke?
We hear that even Balaam's Ass once spoke!

Romanticism À La Mode

The child who, as you know, once wrote to Goethe,
Wanting to make him fancy that he loved her,
Went to the theatre one fine day.
    A Uniform then stalked her way
And came towards her with a friendly smile.
"Kind Sir, Bettina wishes, for a while,
Smitten with sweet desire, to rest
Her curly head upon your breast."
The Uniform then answered rather drily,
"Bettina, that is up to you entirely!"
"Sweetie," she answered in a trice,
"Of course you're sure I have no lice!"

To the Sun of Truth (F. Quednow)

Lamplight and star glimmer,
Depth of heart and beauty's shimmer,
Soul's grace and white skin's bloom-
You never show them openly,
Sun of Truth you claim to be.
    Every bride has her groom,
Sun of Truth you well may call
Yourself--the Sun throws shadows, after all!

On a Certain Knight-Hero

Dig at him here, dig at him there, and ever
You'll find that Knight and Hero merge together.
His dance-talk's up-to-date all right,
But ancient bugs eat him at night.

To My Neighbour Across the Street

She stares at me from over yonder
God, I can't stand it any longer.
A little man, a yellow house,
A woman lank and nauseous.
Since Inspiration could take flight,
I'd better pull the blind down--tight.

A Philistine Wonders

"I don't know how they quarrel with themselves the way they do.

Just button up your coat, good sir, and they won't steal from you."

Mathematical Wisdom


We have boiled everything down to signs,
And Reasoning's done on strict mathematical lines.
If God's a point, as cylinder he just won't pass,
You can't stand on your head while sitting on your----.


If a's the Beloved and b is the Lover,
My shirt I'll wager ten times over
That a and b when added up'll
Constitute one Loving Couple.


Measure the World with lines about,
You'll never drive its Spirit out.
If feuds were settled by a and b,
The Courts would be swindled out of their fee.

To the Medical Students

Damned philistino-medico-student crew,
The whole world's just bag of bones to you.
When once you've cooled the blood with Hydrogen,
And when you've felt the pulse's throbbing, then
You think, "I've done the most I'm able to.
Man could be very comfortable, too.
How clever of Almighty God to be
So very well versed in Anatomy!"
And flowers are all instruments to use,
When they've been boiled down into herbal brews.

Medical Student Psychology

Who eats a supper of dumplings and noodles,
Will suffer from--nightmares, oodles and oodles.

Medical Student Metaphysics

No Spirit ever has existed.
Oxen have lived and never missed it.
The Soul is idle fantasy;
In the stomach it certainly can't be found,
And if one were able to run it to ground,
Then almost any pill would set it free.
Then Spirits would be seen
Emerging in an endless stream.

Medical Student Anthropology

He who would sickness foil
Must learn to rub his nether half with oil,
So that no wind or draught
Can chill him fore and aft.
Man also can achieve his ends
With dietary regimens;
   And Culture thus emerges
As soon as Man starts using purges.

Medical Student Ethics

Lest perspiration harm, it's best
On journeys to wear more than just one vest.
Beware all passion that produces
Disorders of the gastric juices.
Do not let your glances wander
Where flames can burst your eyes asunder.
Mix water with your wine,
Take milk in coffee every time;
And don't forget to have us called
When leaving for the Afterworld.