But many weary hours, in sooth, were also mine.
At night its little cradle stood
Close to my bed; so was I wide awake
If it but stirred;
One while I was obliged to give it food,
Or to my arms the darling take;
From bed full oft must rise, whene’er its cry I heard,
And, dancing it, must pace the chamber to and fro;
Stand at the wash-tub early; forthwith go
To market, and then mind the cooking too—
Tomorrow like today, the whole year through.
Ah, sir, thus living, it must be confess’d
One’s spirits are not always of the best;
Yet it a relish gives to food and rest.
[They pass on.]
Poor women! we are badly off, I own;
A bachelor’s conversion’s hard, indeed!
Madam, with one like you it rests alone,
To tutor me a better course to lead.
Speak frankly, sir, none is there you have met?
Has your heart ne’er attach’d itself as yet?
One’s own fire-side and a good wife are gold
And pearls of price, so says the proverb old.
I mean, has passion never stirred your breast?
I’ve everywhere been well received, I own.
Yet hath your heart no earnest preference known?
With ladies one should ne’er presume to jest.
Ah! you mistake!
I’m sorry I’m so blind!
But this I know—that you are very kind.
[They pass on.]
Me, little angel, didst thou recognize,
When in the garden first I came?
Did you not see it? I cast down my eyes.
Thou dost forgive my boldness, dost not blame
The liberty I took that day,
When thou from church didst lately wend thy way?
I was confused. So had it never been;
No one of me could any evil say.
Alas, thought I, he doubtless in thy mien,
Something unmaidenly or bold hath seen?
[Illustration: FAUST AND MARGARET IN THE GARDEN Liezen-Mayer]
It seemed as if it struck him suddenly,
Here’s just a girl with whom one may make free!
Yet I must own that then I scarcely knew
What in your favor here began at once to plead;
Yet I was angry with myself indeed
That I more angry could not feel with you.