Before Bram Stoker, there was… vampire poetry!
Der Vampir was written in 1748 by Heinrich August Ossenfelder. Like the vampire fiction of today, the poem focuses on sexuality – specifically the vampire’s kiss.
This throws out my theory that the sexy vampire is a late 20th century invention.
At least the poet doesn’t write about sparkling vampires.
Der Vampir (The Vampire)
My dear young maiden clingeth
Unbending, fast and firm
To all the long-held teaching
Of a mother ever true;
As in vampires unmortal
Folk on the Theyse’s portal
Heyduck-like do believe.
But my Christine thou dost dally,
And wilt my loving parry
Till I myself avenging
To a vampire’s health a-drinking
Him toast in pale tockay.
And as softly thou art sleeping
To thee shall I come creeping
And thy life’s blood drain away.
And so shalt thou be trembling
For thus shall I be kissing
And death’s threshold thou’ it be crossing
With fear, in my cold arms.
And last shall I thee question
Compared to such instruction
What are a mother’s charms?
If anyone knows of vampire poetry that predates this one, please let me know. I feel like starting a collection. Or maybe we could have a vampire poetry/haiku contest here for all you writers? Hm… I’m going to have to think about this.