I had never heard or heard of "Nicht weit von hier" ( also known as "Die Räuberbraut") until coming across it in Lieder, Songs und Gospels 3
. This is a short four-verse song of a beautiful maiden (as beautiful as milk and blood, as the song so sanguinely expresses it) who loves a robber with all her heart. The robber is obliged to flee thus deserting her. The departure does not however take place until the robber has sung two whole verses on the pity she feels for him, that he can no longer remain in the cave with her, that he gives her ring with the rejoinder that any questioner on the ring's origin should be told that it had been worn by a robber who loved her day and night and that the robber had killed the odd person or two. Great stuff so far, dear surfer!
The final verse describes how the robber rides off into the forest where, still in sight, the maiden witnesses the slaying of both her lover and his horse by sword. As a final act, the bereaved maiden buries both robber and horse in a common grave beneath an oak tree.
An unusual story, what?