Don’t make so free! How many
Has been betroth’d and then betray’d;
And has repented after!
Yet still he flatter’d her aside,
And from the linden, far and wide,
Juchheisa! Heisa! He!
Rang fiddle-bow and laughter.
Doctor, ’tis really kind of you,
To condescend to come this way,
A highly learned man like you,
To join our mirthful throng today.
Our fairest cup I offer you,
Which we with sparkling drink have crown’d,
And pledging you, I pray aloud,
That every drop within its round,
While it your present thirst allays,
May swell the number of your days.
I take the cup you kindly reach,
Thanks and prosperity to each!
[The crowd gather round in a circle.]
Ay, truly! ’tis well done, that you
Our festive meeting thus attend;
You, who in evil days of yore,
So often show’d yourself our friend!
Full many a one stands living here,
Who from the fever’s deadly blast
Your father rescu’d, when his skill
The fatal sickness stay’d at last.
A young man then, each house you sought,
Where reign’d the mortal pestilence.
Corpse after corpse was carried forth,
But still unscath’d you issued thence.
Sore then your trials and severe;
The Helper yonder aids the helper here.
Heaven bless the trusty friend, and long
To help the poor his life prolong!
To Him above in homage bend,
Who prompts the helper and Who help doth send.
[He proceeds with WAGNER.]
What feelings, great man, must thy breast inspire,
At homage paid thee by this crowd! Thrice blest
Who from the gifts by him possessed
Such benefit can draw! The sire
Thee to his boy with reverence shows,
They press around, inquire, advance,
Hush’d is the fiddle, check’d the dance.
Where thou dost pass they stand in rows,
And each aloft his bonnet throws,
But little fails and they to thee,
As though the Host came by, would bend the knee.
A few steps further, up to yonder stone!
Here rest we from our walk. In times long past,
Absorb’d in thought, here oft I sat alone,
And disciplin’d myself with prayer and fast.
Then rich in hope, with faith sincere,
With sighs, and hands in anguish press’d,
The end of that sore plague, with many a tear,
From heaven’s dread Lord, I sought to wrest.
The crowd’s applause assumes a scornful tone.
Oh, could’st thou in my inner being read
How little either sire or son
Of such renown deserves the meed!