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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 489 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 05.

  “Keep still!” he said and pierced their heads
  With a bodkin from his sack. 
  “This way we put the buttons on,
  For that’s our tailor’s knack! 
  Hallo, thou tailor-fellow,
  Now get thee out of hell—­oh,
  We do not need this dressing,
  For what we will, is well, oh!

  With thimble and with needle then
  His stitching he began,
  And closed the devils’ nostrils up
  As tight as e’er one can.

  Hallo, thou tailor-fellow,
  Now his thee out of hell—­oh,
  We cannot use our noses,
  Do what we will for smell, oh!

  Then he began to cut away—­
  It must have made them smart;
  With all his might the tailor ripped
  The devils’ ears apart. 
  Hallo, thou tailor-fellow,
  Now march away from hell—­oh,
  We else should need a doctor,
  If what we will were well—­oh!

  And last of all came Lucifer
  And cried:  “What horror fell! 
  No devil has his little tail;
  So drive him out of hell.” 
  Hallo, thou tailor-fellow,
  Now his thee out of hell—­oh,
  We need to wear no clothes at all—­
  For what we will, is well, oh!

  And when the tailor’s sack was packed,
  He felt so very well—­oh! 
  He hopped and skipped without dismay
  And had a laughing spell, oh! 
  And hurried out of hell—­oh,
  And stayed a tailor-fellow;
  And the devil will catch no tailor now,
  Let him steal, as he will—­it is well, though!

[Illustration:  THE REAPER Walter Crane]

* * * * *

THE REAPER

  There is a reaper, Death his name;
  His might from God the highest came. 
  Today his knife he’ll whet,
  ’Twill cut far better yet;
  Soon he will come and mow,
  And we must bear the woe—­
  Beware, fair flower!

  The flowers fresh and green today,
  Tomorrow will be mowed away
  Narcissus so white,
  The meadows’ delight,
  The hyacinthias pale
  And morning-glories frail—­
  Beware, fair flower!

  Full many thousand blossoms blithe
  Must fall beneath his deadly scythe: 
  Roses and lilies pure,
  Your end is all too sure! 
  Imperial lilies rare
  He will not spare—­
  Beware, fair flower!

  The bluet wee, of heaven’s hue,
  The tulips white and yellow too,
  The dainty silver bell,
  The golden phlox as well—­
  All sink upon the earth. 
  Oh, what a sorry dearth! 
  Beware, fair flower!

  Sweet lavender of lovely scent,
  And rosemary, dear ornament,
  Sword-lilies proud, unfurled,
  And basil, quaintly curled,
  And fragile violet blue—­
  He soon will seize you too! 
  Beware, fair flower!

  Death, I defy thee!  Hasten near
  With one great sweep—­I have no fear! 
  Though hurt, I’ll stay undaunted,
  For I shall be transplanted
  Into the garden by heaven’s gate,
  The heavenly garden we all await. 
  Rejoice, fair flower!

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