Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Germany
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII.  1876–79.
 
Miscellaneous
Ballad
Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)
 
Translated by H. W. Dulcken

THE SICKLE moon of autumn
  Peers white through clouds around;
The parsonage by the churchyard
  Lies hushed in rest profound.
 
The mother reads in the Bible,        5
  The son at the candle stares,
Sits yawning the elder daughter,
  While the younger thus declares:—
 
“Alas! for the days we live here!
  How creep they so wearily;        10
Save when one to the grave is carried
  What have we here to see?”
 
The mother says, mid her reading,
  “Thou ’rt wrong; but four have died
Since that thy father was carried        15
  To rest by the church-door side.”
 
Then yawneth the elder daughter:—
  “I ’ll not starve here with ye;
I will to the count to-morrow,—
  He ’s rich, and he loveth me.”        20
 
The son breaks forth in laughter:
  “There drink at the Star below
Three who make gold, and who ’ll teach me
  Their secret gladly, I know.”
 
The mother flings the Bible        25
  Right in his face so wan:
“And wouldst thou, God-accurséd,
  Become a highwayman?”
 
They hear a knock at the window,
  They see a beckoning hand;        30
Without, in his black-priest garment,
  Doth their dead father stand.
 
 
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