Then she knelt down on the floor by the side of the newly made mother, Kissing the weeping woman, and taking her low-whispered blessing.
Thou, meanwhile, worshipful justice, wast speaking
to Hermann and saying:
“Justly mayst thou, my friend, be counted among the good masters,
Careful to manage their household affairs with capable servants.
For I have often observed how in sheep, as in horses and oxen,
Men conclude never a bargain without making closest inspection,
While with a servant who all things preserves, if honest and able,
And who will every thing lose and destroy, if he set to work falsely,
Him will a chance or an accident make us admit to our dwelling,
And we are left, when too late, to repent an o’er hasty decision.
Thou understandest the matter it seems; because thou hast chosen,
Thee and thy parents to serve in the house, a maid who is honest.
Hold her with care; for as long as thy household is under her keeping,
Thou shalt not want for a sister, nor yet for a daughter thy parents.”
Many were come, meanwhile, near relatives all of the
Bringing her various gifts, and more suitable quarters announcing.
All of them, hearing the maiden’s decision, gave Hermann their blessing,
Coupled with glances of meaning, while each made his special reflections.
Hastily one and another would say in the ear of his neighbor:
“If in the master a lover she find, right well were she cared for.”
Hermann took her at last by the hand, and said as he did so:
“Let us be going; the day is declining, and distant the city.”
Eager and voluble then the women embraced Dorothea.
Hermann drew her away; but other adieus must be spoken:
Lastly the children with cries fell upon her and terrible weeping,
Clung to her garments, and would not their dear second mother should
But in a tone of command the women said, one and another:
“Hush now, children, she’s going to the town, and will presently bring you
Plenty of nice sweet cake that was by your brother bespoken
When by the stork just now he was brought past the shop of the baker.
Soon you will see her come back with sugar-plums splendidly gilded.”
Then did the little ones loose their hold, and Hermann, though hardly,
Tore her from further embraces away, and far-waving kerchiefs.
HERMAN AND DOROTHEA
Toward the setting sun the two thus went on their
Close he had wrapped himself round with clouds portending a tempest.
Out from the veil, now here and now there, with fiery flashes,
Gleaming over the field shot forth the ominous lightning.
“May not these threatening heavens,” said Hermann, “be presently sending
Hailstones upon us and violent rains; for fair is the harvest.”
And in the waving luxuriant grain they delighted together:
Almost as high it reached as the lofty shapes that moved through it.