The one mistake of Joseph Haydn


It was his marriage,
but it was not really his fault.
His love was the younger sister,
who became a nun,
and then the family insisted
he should marry the much older sister,
who became a hag
with no interest at all in music;
and he called her on his journeys,
when she could not hear it,
“the infernal beast”;
and being catholics,
he never could divorce her,
but had to wait until she died
to get his freedom, then at 68.
But that was his life’s one unique mistake,
and he was not without his comforts.
He cared for Luigia Polzelli and her sons,
and one of them might have been his.
When he was free at last to marry her,
he was too old, while she made him to promise
not to marry anyone instead of her,
which he of course agreed to in his kindness,
while she went back into Italy
and married someone else.
His best friend was the wife
of his employer’s doctor, though,
Marianne von Genzinger,
which, although no more than a friendship
was his life’s most intimate relationship
besides the one with Mozart.
When they both turned in too early,
Marianne and Mozart,
he was never happy anymore
and turned into a bitter and sarcastic miser.
Still, he left a mystery behind,
when in his will, (he died a rich man,)
left to various ladies various fortunes,
like the unknown daughters Dillin
and the daughter of accountant Kandler,
a soprano Barbara Pilhofer,
and an unknown chamber maid…
Who were all these good ladies
to receive such fortunes
from a humble but most generous musician,
who discreetly never told the story
how he found much better wives
outside his marriage
without compromising anyone?


© aurelio 2023
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Well he was certainly a bit of a lad by all accounts was our Joseph. Glad it didn’t interfere with his composing too much. One of my favourite compositions is his ‘St Nicholas Mass’ The ‘Kyrie’ is beautiful…


This is a fascinating write – I have learned a lot through reading this. I feel it might help to divide this into a few separate stanzas, it would make it easier to follow. Great read.

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