Heinrich Heine
from "Lyric Intermezzo"

Heine's trademark ploy was to start seriously, then blow it all to smithereens with a devastatingly humorous last line. Here, in one of my favorites, he inverts the procedure. I've had to eliminate rhyme and rhythm in this one to keep the sense.

    We felt a great deal for each other
    And yet we got along most excellently.
    We often played 'Man and Wife,'
    And yet we never argued or fought.
    Together we rejoiced, and joked,
    And tenderly hugged and kissed.
    Finally, in childish high spirits,
    We played hide-and-seek in the woods and fields.
    And we knew so much about hiding
    That we never found each other again.