The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 507 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12.

Hereupon I was allowed to go to school.

SIR RIBBECK OF RIBBECK[3]

By THEODOR FONTANE

  Sir Ribbeck of Ribbeck in Havelland—­
  A pear-tree in his yard did stand,
  And in the golden autumn-tide,
  When pears were shining far and wide,
  Sir Ribbeck, when barely the bells struck noon,
  Would stuff both his pockets with pears right soon. 
  If a boy in clogs would come his way,
  He would call:  “My boy, have a pear today?”
  To a girl he’d call:  “Little maid over there,
  Now come here to me, and I’ll give you a pear.” 
  And thus he did ever, as years went by,
  Till Sir Ribbeck of Ribbeck came to die. 
  He felt his end coming, ’twas autumn-tide,
  And the pears were laughing, far and wide,
  Then spoke Sir Ribbeck:  “And now I must die. 
  Lay a pear in my grave, beside me to lie!”
  From the double-roofed house in three days more,
  Sir Ribbeck to his grave they bore. 
  All the peasants and cotters with solemn face,
  Did sing:  “Lord Jesus, in Thy Grace”—­
  And the children moaned with hearts of lead: 
  “Who will give us a pear?  Now he is dead.” 
  Thus moaned the children—­that was not good—­
  Not knowing old Ribbeck as they should. 
  The new, to be sure, is a miser hard;
  Over park and pear-tree he keeps stern guard. 
  But the old, who this doubtless could foretell,
  Distrusting his son, he knew right well
  What he was about when he bade them lay
  A pear in his grave, on his dying day: 

  Out of his silent haunt, in the third year,
  A little pear-tree shoot did soon appear. 
  And many a year now comes and goes,
  But a pear-tree on the grave there grows,
  And in the golden autumn-tide,
  The pears are shining far and wide. 
  When a boy o’er the grave-yard wends his way,
  The tree whispers:  “Boy, have a pear today?”
  To a girl it says:  “Little maid over there,
  Come here to me and I’ll give you a pear.” 
     So there are blessings still from the hand
     Of Sir Ribbeck of Ribbeck in Havelland.

[Footnote 3:  Translator:  Margarete Muensterberg.]

THE BRIDGE BY THE TAY[4] (1879)

/# “When shall we three meet again".—­Macbeth #/

“When shall we three meet again?”
“The dam of the bridge at seven attain!”
“By the pier in the middle.  I’ll put out amain
“The flames.” 
“I too.” 
“I’ll come from the north.” 
“And I from the south.” 
“From the sea I’ll soar forth.”

“Ha, that will be a merry-go-round,
The bridge must sink into the ground.” 
“And with the train what shall we do
That crosses the bridge at seven?”
“That too.” 
“That must go too!”
“A bawble, a naught,
What the hand of man hath wrought!”

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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