420 MODERN GERMAN LITERATURE Miegel have been dealt with as women writers (pp. 342-3); both infuse into the ballad something of the new spirit of the revolt of woman. BORRIES FREIHERR VON MUNCHHAUSEN (1874-1945) on the contrary merely carries on the ballad tradition of Graf Moritz von Strachwitz: the dashing bravery of the Germanic warrior, and, if the theme be modern, the ways of a junker with a lady, form the staple of Die ftalladen und ritterlichen Lieder (1908) and Das Balladen- buch (1929; final edition 1950). The ballads handle motifs from Nordic myth (Wodans Rift, Weissagung der Wala, Wodans Lied vom Ymir-Kampf], Danish history, the Middle Ages, the Thirty Years War, Mdrchen and legends. His poems of personal experience were collected in Das Uederbuch (1928) and Idyllen (1933). The verse and stanza forms continue traditional, but with new- melodic rhythms, in the work of certain poets who in this respect are transitional between impressionism and expressionism - Georg Heym, Georg Trakl, Ernst Stadler, Paul Zech, and Armin T. Wegner. As far as form is concerned Franz Werfel, too, may be ranged with this group, though actually he is the very apostle of expressionist ethics. The first two intensify certain morbid themes, and prepare for the expressionist doctrine of the regeneration of humanity by dwelling on the phases of decay, death, and decom- position, while Heym, Zech, and Wegner by their presentation of the city as a nightmare take their place by the side of Rilke. GEORG HEYM (1887-1912) is with some fitness called 'the German Rimbaud', not because of any similarity of life - he was drowned at twenty-five when skating on the Havel - but because of his obvious imitation of the French decadent. His two volumes of verse (Der ewige Tag, 1911; Umbra Vitae, 1912; Gesammelte Gedichte, 1947) sing demonic gloom into pictures of Berlin. Typical of his manner is Die Tote im Wasser, the description of the corpse of a woman floating along a Berlin canal - a white ship manned by great rats1 - 'Ihr dicker "Bauch entragt \ Dem Wasser gross, ^erhohlt und fast ^ernagt? This theme of the decomposition2 of beauty we find again in Alfred Wolfenstein's (p. 425) brilliant translation of Rim- baud's Ophe'lie\ it is ghastliest in Gottfried Benn's Schone Jugend and again in Heym's Ophelia - here the dead girl floats along on a 1 This recurs: Armin T. Wegner's Die Ertrunkemn. 2 The ultimate inspiration is Baudelaire's poem La Charogne* See also Heym's Schwars$ Visionen* Der Schldfer im Walde (obviously modelled on Rimbaud's Le dormeur du val)t and Bzst du nun tot? (the picture of a strangled woman's corpse).