I saw the moon behind the island fade,
And thought, “Oh, were I on that island there,
I could find out of what the moon is made,
Find out how large it is, how round, how fair!”
Wondering, I saw God’s sun, through western
Sink in the ocean’s golden lap at night,
And yet upon the morrow early rise,
And paint the eastern heaven with crimson light;
And thought of God, the gracious Heavenly Father,
Who made me, and that lovely sun on high,
And all those pearls of heaven thick-strung together,
Dropped, clustering, from his hand o’er all the sky.
With childish reverence, my young lips did say
The prayer my pious mother taught to me:
“O gentle God! oh, let me strive alway
Still to be wise, and good, and follow Thee!”
So prayed I for my father and my mother,
And for my sister, and for all the town;
The king I knew not, and the beggar-brother,
Who, bent with age, went, sighing, up and down.
They perished, the blithe days of boyhood perished,
And all the gladness, all the peace I knew!
Now have I but their memory, fondly cherished;—
God! may I never lose that too!
FROM THE GERMAN
THE HAPPIEST LAND
There sat one day in quiet,
By an alehouse on the Rhine,
Four hale and hearty fellows,
And drank the precious wine.
The landlord’s daughter filled their cups,
Around the rustic board
Then sat they all so calm and still,
And spake not one rude word.
But, when the maid departed,
A Swabian raised his hand,
And cried, all hot and flushed with wine,
“Long live the Swabian land!
“The greatest kingdom upon earth
Cannot with that compare
With all the stout and hardy men
And the nut-brown maidens there.
“Ha!” cried a Saxon, laughing,
And dashed his heard with wine;
“I had rather live in Laplaud,
Than that Swabian land of thine!
“The goodliest land on all this earth,
It is the Saxon land
There have I as many maidens
As fingers on this hand!”
“Hold your tongues! both Swabian
A bold Bohemian cries;
“If there’s a heaven upon this earth,
In Bohemia it lies.
“There the tailor blows the flute,
And the cobbler blows the horn,
And the miner blows the bugle,
Over mountain gorge and bourn.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And then the landlord’s daughter
Up to heaven raised her hand,
And said, “Ye may no more contend,—
There lies the happiest land!”
BY CHRISTOPH AUGUST TIEDGE
“Whither, thou turbid wave?
Whither, with so much haste,
As if a thief wert thou?”
“I am the Wave of Life,
Stained with my margin’s dust;
From the struggle and the strife
Of the narrow stream I fly
To the Sea’s immensity,
To wash from me the slime
Of the muddy banks of Time.”