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Der Arme Peter

Der Hans und die Grete tanzen herum,
Und jauchzen vor lauter Freude.
Der Peter steht so still und so stumm,
Und ist so blass wie Kreide.

Hansel and Gretel dance about

And shout for pure joy.
Peter stands so still and so silent,
And is as pale as chalk.

Der Hans und die Grete sind Brutgam und

Und blitzen im Hochzeitgeschmeide.
Der arme Peter die Ngel kaut
Und geht im Werkeltagkleide.

Hansel and Gretel are bridegroom and bride,

And glittering in wedding-jewelry.
Poor Peter chews his nails
And goes about in workaday-clothes.

Der Peter spricht leise vor sich her,

Und schauet betrbet auf beide:
Ach! Wenn ich nicht gar zu vernnftig wr,
Ich tte mir was zuleide.

Peter says quietly out loud to himself,

Looking gloomily at the pair,
Ah, if I were not so sensible,
I might do myself some harm.

In meiner Brust da sitzt ein Weh,
Das will die Brust zersprengen;
Und wo ich steh, und wo ich geh,
Wills mich von hinnen drngen.

In my heart there sits an ache,

That would burst my breast;
And wherever I stand, wherever I go,
It urges me away from here.

Es treibt mich nach der Liebsten Nh,

Als knnts die Grete heilen;
Doch wenn ich der ins Auge seh,
Muss ich von hinnen eilen.

It drives me to my beloveds presence,

As if Gretel would heal me;
But when I look her in the eye,
I must hurry away from there.

Ich steig hinauf des Berges Hh,

Dort ist man doch alleine;
Und wenn ich still dort oben steh,
Dann steh ich still und weine.

I climb up to the heights of the mountains,

For there one can be alone for certain;
And when I quietly stand up there,
I stand there in silence and weep.

Der arme Peter wankt vorbei,
Gar langsam, leichenblass und scheu.
Es bleiben fast, wie sie ihn sehn,
Die Leute auf den Strassen stehn.

Poor Peter staggers past,

Very slowly, corpse-pale, and shy.
When they see him,
The people in the street almost stand still.

Die Mdchen flstern sich ihns Ohr:

Der stieg wohl aus dem Grab hervor!
Ach nein, ihr lieben Jungfrulein,
Der steigt erst in das Grab hinein.

The girls whisper into each others ears,

He surely rose out of the grave!
Ah no, you dear maidens,
He now climbs into the grave.

Er hat verloren seinen Schatz,

Drum ist das Grab der beste Platz,
Wo er am besten liegen mag
Und schlafen bis zum jnsten Tag.

He has lost his treasure;

Therefore the grave is the best place,
Where he might best lie
And sleep until Judgment Day.

The Weathercock

. .


Its quiet. And it will get quieter.

The useless flag is lowered.
Alone, the weathervane on the roof
Sings sweetly of the future.


Strewn over half the sky by the wind,

Agitated by the smoke and sun,
The poor enchanted cockerel
Is overturned into the blue depths.

, !

The fragrant pitch is burning,

The landscape is eternally hazy
Sweet to me are the songs of the
Sing, my little pewter cockerel!

The Bride

, , .
, ...

Holy Mother Assuage-My-Sorrows

Walked before the coffin, bright and quiet.
And behind the coffin, in a mourning veil
Walked the bride, seeing off the bridegroom.

- :

He was only a fashionable man of letters,

A creator of sacrilegious words,
But the dead are of the peoples soul,
Which reveres every end.

, .

, , ...

And those who met them bowed and crossed

Brows heavy with thought and labor.
And friends and relatives threw dust
On the icons, on her, on the coffin

( - ?)


And with what infinite sadness

(Not for him God knows for whom?)
She accepted the sympathetic words
And occasional wreath after wreath



These hackneyed, repetitive phrases

Words which nobody needs
She has transfigured into the pinnacle of
A secret, divine smile

, ,


As if here, where they sang and burned

And where even death cannot be silent,
She was shielding herself from dust with her
bridal veil
And awaiting Another Bridegroom.

The wind has brought from far away


The wind has brought from far away

The hint of springs song.
Somewhere bright and deep
Heaven opened up a bit.


In that bottomless blue,

In the twilight of the impending spring,
Winter storms were crying
And starry dreams were floating.



Timidly, darkly, and deeply

My strings were weeping.
The wind has brought from far away
Your resonant songs.

The Virgin in the City



You pass by without a smile,

Eyelashes lowered,
And in the dark, above the cathedral,
Golden domes are shining.


Your face seems to resemble

That of the Evening Virgins,
Whose eyelashes are lowered
And who are disappearing into the gloom.


But with you goes a curly-haired,

Meek boy in a white hat.
You lead him by the hand,
You will not let him fall.

, ,


I stay in the shadowy door,

Where a sharp wind blows,
Blinding me with tears,
Straining my eyes.

: "!


I want to leap out

And exclaim, Mother of God!
For what, into my black city,
Have you brought your Child?



But my tongue is powerless to shout.

You pass by. Behind you,
Above your sacred footsteps,
Blue darkness rests.

, ,


And I watch you, remembering,

How your eyelashes were lowered,
And how your boy in the white hat
Smiled at you

Fhlt meine Seele

Fhlt meine Seele das ersehnte Licht
Von Gott, der sie erschuf? Ist es der Strahl
Von andre Schnheit aus dem Jammertal,
Der in mein Herz Erinnrung weckend

Does my soul feel the long-sought light

Of God, who created it? Is it the ray
From another beauty from the vale of misery
That breaks into my heart, awakening

Ist es ein Klang, ein Traumgesicht,

Das Aug und Herz mir fllt mit einem Mal
In unbegreiflich glhnder Qual,
Die mich zu Trnen bringt? Ich wei es

Is it a sound, a dream-vision,
That fills my heart and eye, in one moment,
With incomprehensible, glowing torment,
Which brings me to tears? I do not know.

Was ich ersehne, fhle, was mich lenkt,

Ist nicht in mir: sag mir, wie ichs erwerbe?
Mir zeigt es wohl nur eines Andren Huld;

That which I desire, feel, that which guides

Is not in me. Tell me, how may I acquire it?
It is revealed to me only by anothers grace;

Darein bin ich, seit ich dich sah, versenkt.

Mich treibt ein Ja und Nein, ein S und
Daran sind, Herrin, deine Augen Schuld.

Therein am I, since I saw you, immersed.

I am driven by a yes and no, a sweet and
a bitter
For that, Mistress, are your eyes to blame.

Sleep, and Ill be as still as another sleeper
holding you in my arms, glad that you
lie so near at last.
This sheltering midnight is our meeting
place, no passion or despair or hope
divide from your side.
I shall remember firelight on your sleeping
face, I shall remember shadows
growing deeper as the fire fell to ashes
and the minutes passed.
Le paon

The Peacock

Il va srement se marier aujourdhui. Ce

devait tre pour hier. En habit de gala, il tait
prt. Il nattendait que sa fiance. Elle nest
pas venue. Elle ne peut tarder. Glorieux, il se
promne avec une allure de prince indien et
porte sur lui les riches presents dusage.
Lamour avive lclat de ses couleurs et son
aigrette tremble comme une lyre. La fiance
narrive pas. Il monte au haut du toit et
regarde du ct du soleil. Il jette son cri
diabolique: Lon! Lon! Cest ainsi quil
appellee sa fiance. Il ne voit rien venir et
personne ne rpond. Les volailles habitues
ne lvent mme point la tte. Elles sont lasses
de ladmirer. Il redescend dans la cour, si sr
dtre beau quil est incapable de rancune.
Son mariage sera pour demain. Et, ne
sachant que faire du reste de la journe, il se
dirige vers le perron. Il gravit les marches,
comme des marches de temple, dun pas
officiel. Il relve sa robe queue toute lourde
des yeux qui nont pu se detacher delle. Il
rpte encore une fois la crmonie.

He will surely be married today. It should

have been yesterday. He was ready in festive
clothing. He was only waiting for his fiance.
She has not come. She wont be long. He
walks about splendidly with the air of an
Indian prince wearing on his person the
customary rich presents. Love intensifies the
brilliance of his colors and his crest trembles
like a lyre. The fiance does not arrive. He
climbs to the top of the roof and looks
toward the sun. He releases his devilish cry:
Lon! Lon! It is thus he calls his fiance.
He sees nothing come and no one replies.
The fowls, used to him, do not even lift their
heads. They are tired of admiring him. He
descends again to the courtyard, so sure of
his handsomeness that he is incapable of
resentment. His wedding will take place
tomorrow. And, not knowing what to do with
the rest of the day, he turns toward a flight of
steps. He climbs the stairs, as if they were the
stairs of a temple, with an official gait. He
raises his robe, with its train heavy with eyes
that cannot detach themselves from it. He
repeats the ceremony once more.

Le grillon

The Cricket

Cest lheure o, las derrer, linsecte ngre

revient de promenade et rpare avec soin le
dsordre de son domaine. Dabord il ratisse
ses troites alles de sable. Il fait du bran de
scie quil carte au seuil de sa retraite. Il lime
la racine de cette grande herbe propre le
harceler. Il se repose. Puis il remonte sa
minuscule montre. A-t-il fini? est-elle casse?
Il se repose encore un peu. Il rentre chez lui
et ferme sa porte. Longtemps il tourne sa clef
dans la serrure delicate. Et il coute: Point
dalarme dehors. Mais il ne se trouve pas en
sret. Et comme par une chanette dont la
poulie grince, il descend jusquau fond de la
terre. On nentend plus rien. Dans la
champagne muette, les peupliers se dressent
comme des doigts en laire et dsignent la

It is the hour when, tired of wandering, the

black insect returns from his walk and
carefully puts right the disorder of his
domain. First he rakes his narrow paths of
sand. He makes some sawdust which he
spreads on the threshold of his retreat. He
files the root of the tall grass likely to annoy
him. He rests. Then he rewinds his tiny
watch. Has he finished? Is it broken? He
rests again for a moment. He goes in his
house and closes his door. For a long time he
turns his key in the delicate lock. And he
listens: Nothing of alarm outside. But he still
does not feel safe. And as if by a little chain
on a creaking pulley, he lowers himself into
the bottom of the earth. Nothing more is
heard. In the silent countryside, the poplars
rise like fingers in the air and point at the

Le cygne

The Swan

Il glisse sur le bassin, comme un traineau

blanc, de nuage en nuage. Car il na faim que
des nuages floconneux quil voit natre,
bouger, et se perdre dans leau. Cest lun
deux quil dsire. Il le vise du bec, et il
plonge tout coup son col vtu de neige.
Puis, tel un bras de femme sort dune
manche, il le retire. Il na rien. Il regarde: les
nuages effarouchs ont disparu. Il ne reste
quun instant dsabus, car les nuages tardent
peu revenir, et, l-bas, o meurent les
ondulations de leau, en voici un qui se
reforme. Doucement, sur son lger cousin de
plumes, le cygne rame et sapproche . . . Il
spuise pcher de vains reflets, et peut-tre
quil mourra, victime de cette illusion, avant
dattraper un seul morceau de nuage. Mais
quest-ce que je dis? Chaque fois quil
plonge, il fouille du bec la vase nourrisante et
ramne un ver. Il engraisse comme une oie.

He glides on the pond, like a white sleigh,

from cloud to cloud. For he has no hunger
but for the fleecy clouds that he sees forming,
moving, and being lost in the water. It is one
of these that he desires. He aims for it with
his beak, and suddenly immerses his snowy
neck. Then, like a womans arm emerging
from a sleeve, he pulls it out. He has caught
nothing. He looks: the startled clouds have
disappeared. He remains disappointed only
for a moment, for the clouds delay little in
returning, and, over there, where the ripples
on the water die away, there is one reforming.
Gently, on a his light feather cushion, the
swan paddles and approaches . . . He is tiring
of fishing for empty reflections, and perhaps
he will die, victim of that illusion, before
catching a single bit of cloud. But what am I
saying? Each time that he dives, he sifts
through the nourishing mud with his beak
and brings back a worm. He is growing fat as
a goose.

Le martin-pcheur

The Kingfisher

a na pas mordu, ce soir, mais je rapporte

une rare motion. Comme je tenais ma
perche de ligne tendue, un martin-pcheur
est venu sy poser. Nous navons pas doiseau
plus clatant. Il semblait une grosse fleur
bleue au bout dune longue tige. La perche
pliait sous le poids. Je ne respirais plus, tout
fier dtre pris pour un arbre par un martinpcheur. Et je suis sr quil ne sest pas
envol de peur, mais quil a cru quil ne
faisait que passer dune branche une autre.

Not a bite this evening, but I had a rare

experience. As I was holding out my fishing
rod, a kingfisher came and perched there.
We have no bird more dazzling. He
resembled a large blue flower at the tip of a
long stem. The rod bent under the weight. I
dared not breathe again, proud to be taken
for a tree by a kingfisher. And I am sure that
he did not fly away out of fear, but that he
believed he did but pass from one branch to

La pintade

The Guinea Fowl

Cest la bossue de ma cour. Elle ne rve que

plaies cause de sa bosse. Les poules ne lui
disent rien: Brusquement, elle se prcipite et
les harcle. Puis elle baisse sa tte, penche le
corps, et, de toute la vitesse de ses pattes
maigres, elle court frapper, de son bec dur,
juste au centre de la roue dune dinde. Cette
poseuse lagaait. Ainsi, la tte bleuie, ses
barbillons vif, cocardire, elle rage, du
matin au soir. Elle se bat sans motif, peut-tre
parce quelle simagine toujours quon se
moque de sa taille, de son crne chauve et de
sa queue basse. Et elle ne cesse de jeter un
cri discordant qui perce lair comme une
pointe. Parfois elle quitte la cour et disparat.
Elle laisse aux volailles pacifiques un moment
de rpit. Mais elle revient plus turbulente et
plus criarde. Et, frntique, elle se vautre par
terre. Qua-t-elle donc? La sournoise fait une
farce. Elle est alle pondre son uf la
champagne. Je peux le chercher si a
mamuse. Et elle se roule dans la poussire
comme une bossue.

She is the hunchback of my barnyard. She

dreams only of wounding because of her
hump. The hens say nothing to her:
Suddenly, she rushes in and harasses them.
Then she lowers her head, bends her body,
and, with all the speed of her skinny legs, she
runs striking with her hard beak, right into
the center of a turkeys tail. This poser has
riled her. Thus, with her bluish head and raw
wattles, aggressively, she rages from morning
to evening. She fights without reason,
perhaps because she always imagines that
they are mocking her size, her bald head, and
her low tail. And she never ceases the
throwing of a discordant cry that pierces the
air like a needle-point. Sometimes she leaves
the yard and disappears. She allows the
peace-loving fowl a moment of respite. But
she returns more unruly and shrill. And,
frenzied, she sprawls on the ground. Whats
wrong with her? The sly one is playing a
trick. She went to lay her egg in the
countryside. I could go look for it if I were so
inclined. And she rolls in the dust like a

Billy Budds Aria

Look! Through the port comes the moonshine astray! It tips the guards cutlass and silvers this
nook; But twill die in the dawning of Billys last day. Ay, ay, all is up; and I must up too early in
the morning, aloft from below.
On an empty stomach, now, never would it do. Theyll give me a nibble-bit of biscuit ere I go.
Sure, a messmate will reach me the last parting cup; But turning heads away from the hoist and the
belay, heaven knows who will have the running of me up! No pipe to those halyards But aint it
all sham? A blurs in my eyes; it is dreaming that I am.
But Donald, he has promised to stand by the plank, so Ill shake a friendly hand ere I sink. But
no! It is dead then Ill be, come to think. Theyll lash me in hammock, drop me deep. Fathoms
down, fathoms, how Ill dream fast asleep. I feel it stealing now; roll me over fair. Im sleepy and
the oozy weeds about me twist.

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