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• Tis by obeying alone she comes to rule, and altains tu
Merited sway and gentle command which is hers in the household.
Still in the outset of life the sister yields to the brother,
Yields to her parents; and still her life is a Going and Coming,
Fetching and Carrying still, and Making and Meuding for others,
Well for her, when so she is wont that no way is too rugged,
That the hours of the night to her as the hours of the day are,
That the work never seems too nice, too cunning the needle,
That she forgets herself, and lives in those who are near her!
For, in truth, as a mother she needs all virtue and patience,
Oft in her weakness roused by the nursling asking refreshment,
From her suffering form; her cares thus sharpen her sorrows.
Ne'er could a score of the stronger sex endure such a burihen,
Nor is it theirs to endure; yet should they gratefully view it."
Thus spake she; and came, with her mute companion, winding On by a garden path, to the ample door of the shed, where Lay the new-made Mother, rejoicing there with her daughters, Damsels by her preserved, in youth's fair purity blooming. Into the space stept both; and from the opposite quarter Came, with a child in either hand, the Judge of the people. Until now these two had been lost to the sorrowing mother, But that ancient man in the throng of the people had found them. Forth they joyful sprang, to cling to the mother they loved, And their brother, a playmate new, to handle and gaze on. Then Dorothea they saw, and springing eagerly held her, Asking for bread and for fruit, but most of all for the water. So she gave them to drink all round. First drank it the children, Drank the sick woman then, with her daughters; then did the Judge drink. All were slak'd and refresht, and prais'd the excellent water, Sweet and sharp to the taste, a wholesome draught to the thirsty.
Then spoke forth the maid, and with look right serious, thus said:
" Friends, 'tis the last time now, that I your lips with my pitcher
Moisten, and give to your thirst the grateful gush of the water.
But when in future time, refresht from the dust and the hot day,
Still in the shade you enjoy the cooling draught and the quiet,
Think then kindly of me, and of my office of friendship,
of love far more than because of kindred that binds us.
Good that to me ye have done, through life shall I gratefully think on.
And full sad is my heart that I leave you; but here as we wander,
Each is to each more burthen than help; and we in the end must
All amid strangers disperse, if speedy return is denied us.
See, here stands the good Youth, who deserves our thanks for his bounty,
Garments that warm the poor child, and welcome food that
Hither he comes, and sues that I to his home should betake me,
And that I there should serve his wealthy and virtuous parents.
And I refuse not the proffer; for still is the maiden a servant;
And an incumbrance were I, did I seek attendance of others.
And so willingly go I with him; right-minded the Youth seems,
And right-minded the Parents will be, as should be the wealthy.
Wherefore now farewell, you, much-lov'd friend ! and rejoice in
That young infant that lies at your breast and healthfully eyes you.
And, when your arms fold round the babe in his gay-colour'd swaddlings,
O then, think of the Youth to whom, kind-hearted, we owe them,
And who to me, your own, henceforth gives shelter and clothing.
And you, excellent man," to the Judge then turning her, said she,
Take my thanks that a father to me you in many a strait were."
And so knelt she down by the side of the woman and child, and
Kissed her weeping friend, and received her whispered blessing.
Then didst thou, much honored Judge, thus answer to Herman:
" Truly, 0 friend, we must among wise householders account you
Who will bave none in their house but persons thrifty and helpful.
For full oft have I seen that men their cattle and horses
Carefully scan, and their sheep, when taken in barter and purchase ;
And yet the persons to manage the whole, who, if they are trusty,
Keep all right, but ruin and spoil it if they are unthrifts,
Thoughtlessly into the house are brought, and chosen at random,
And too late they rue resolves so hastily rusht on.
But ye know what ye do; for ye have chosen a Maiden
Worthy and steady and true, to wait on you and your Parents,
Use her and guard her well: With her to manage the household
Ye and your friends, be sure, will ne'er miss sister and daughter."
Meantime many there came, the sick woman's kindred, and brought her
Needful matters, and spoke of a better abode they had found her.
All were told of the tale, and gave their blessing to Herman
With significant looks, and guesses quickly conceived.
For one whispered another, and sideways spoke as she ey'd them;
“What if the master should soon be the bridegroom! All's well that ends
Then took Herman the Maid by the hand, and spoke to her gently:
" Go we hence: for the day is declining, and far is the city."
Then with many a parting word did the women embrace her.
Herman drew her away, while greetings she left for the absent.
Forth then sprung the children with crying and sorrowful moaning
Would not quit her, but held her garments, lov'd as a mother.
Then this wife and that spoke out with chiding and coaxing:
“Children, peace! for into the city she goes, and will bring you
Many a fine sweet cate, which your brother bade to be made you
When the stork, as he brought him here, just stopt at the baker's,
And you will see it soon, all bright with patches of gilding."
So at the last they let her depart, and Herman withdrew her
Scarce from their straining arms, and kerchiefs waving afar off.
So they together went on, towards where the sun in his setting
Plunged him deep in clouds with tempest-threatening aspect,
Through the shattered veil, now here now there, with his glances
Over the field a sad prophetic radiance beaming.
“Grant heaven,” Herman said, this sky so menacing bring not
Hail and passionate burst of rain, for heavy the crop is.”
And they joyed them both in the corn-field loftily waving
Which nigh equal'd in height the two tall forms as they trod through.
Then of her guide and companion thus enquired the Damsel :
“Friend, through whose kind aid a gentle destiny mine is,
Roof and home, when the storm finds many a wanderer houseless,
Tell yet further to me; with your parents make me acquainted,
Whom truehearted to serve, henceforth my innermost wish is,
For when the master's nature is known we easier please him;
Then we think of the things which he as weightiest reckons,
And on which his thought and his will are steadily fixed,
Tell to me then how best I win thy Father and Mother."
Then to her the kind intelligent Yenth said in answer :
“O right well dost thou, my kind and excellent Maiden,
That thou beforehand thus would'st know the mood of my parents !
For, this left unmarkt, in vain thus far mith my service
Seek I my Father to please ; though still I care for the household
As it were mine, and am early and late in field and in vineyard.
Easily could I my Mother content, she valued my service;
And to her thou still wilt seem the choicest of damsels
If thou car’st for the house which is hers as thou wouldst for thy own care.
But not so with my Father; he loves the show with the substance,
Good kind Maiden, think of me not as cold and unfeeling
Parents' weakness thus to thee, a stranger disclosing.
Truly to thee I swear, for the first time now has escaped
From my tongue such word, not lightly given to babble.
But thou draw'st all secrets forth of the depths of my bosom.
Somewhat of fair outside my Father loves in his household,
Wishes for outward signs that love and reverence token,
And he would be perhaps content with a servant that worse were.
Who this knew and us'd, and would peevish be to a better."
Then said she with joy, meanwhile with livelier motion
And with doubling stops on the dusky path she advanced ;
Truly my hope is still that I to both may content bring;
For my mother's turu is my own natural temper.
Nor has my youth a stranger been to graces of manner.
Our near neighbors the French, such as we knew them in past time,
great store by courtesy still ; both gentle and simple.
Yea and the peasant possest it, and each one taught his children.
And so, e’en on the German side of the border, the wont was
That the child came in the morn with a kiss of the hand and a curtsey,
Gave good day to her parents, and still must mannerly bear her.
All that once I learnt, and that then in my youth was a custom
Courtesy, felt in my heart, shall all be shown to thy Father.
But yet one thing tell: in speech what name shall I call thee,
Thee, the son of the house, and to be hereafter my master ?"
Thus she spoke, and just then came they under the pear-tree;
Bright from on high the full moon pour'd her radiance downward;
Night was come, and closed was every gleam of the sunlight.
And so before them lay, spread out in neighboring masses,
Lights as bright as the day, and dark abysses of shadow,
And right gladly did Herman hear the confiding enquiry
There in the pear-tree's shade, the spot so dear to his fancy,
Which already to-day bad seen his tears for the exile.
And as the two there sat them down to rest for a moment,
Said the enamored Youth as he took the hand of the Maiden:
· Let thy heart reply, and freely follow its bidding."
Yet no further word did he dare, all fair as the hour was,
Favoring all ; he fear'd too soon a Nay he might draw down,
Ah, and he felt on her finger the ring, the token of sorrow!
And so sat they still and silent each by the other.
But the Maid broke silence and said—“How fair to me still seems,
Fair and sweet the shine of the moon! 'Tis bright as the daylight.
There quite plain in the town do I see a house and a farm-yard,
And in the gable a window; I count the squares of the casement."
What thou seest," thereto the entranced Youth said in answer,
“ That is our abode to which I downward must lead thee,
And that window belongs to my chamber that under the roof lies:
Now 'twill perhaps be thine ; some changes have we in prospect.
Ours are all these fields; they wait the sickle to-morrow.
Here in the shade we rest, and eat the meal of the noon-day.
But let us ouwards now; aad down the vineyard and garden
Follow our way: for over us spreads the lowering tempest
Heavy with rain and covering up the beauteous tull moon.”
And so stood they up, and down-hill trod on the field-path,
Through the noble corn, and joy'd in the fresh of the night air ;
And to the vineyard came, where through the darkness the path lay.
And so down the long stair of planks he guided the damsel, Which, unhewn, made steps in the alley with leaves overarched. Slowly down she stept, and kept her hands on his shoulders ; And with a flickering light, through leaves the moon shot her glances, Ere yet, wrapt in the cloud, she left the pair in the darkuess. And his strength supported the Maid, and over him hung she; But, all strange to the path, where now more rugged the steps lay Footing she mist; her foot thus wrencht, well-nigh she had fallen. Quick and attentive, the youth his right arm skilfully stretcht forth, And upheld the dear Maid; she lightly sank on his shoulder. Breast touched breast, cheek, cheek. All still and motionless stood be, E’en as a statue of stone, fast bound in the depth of his feeling, Nor did he closer press her, but, stiffen'd, bore up the burthen. And so felt he the much-loved form, the warmth of her bosom, And the balm of her breath which floated close to his own lips, Held in bis manly arms the well-shaped form of the Maiden.
She dissembled the pain, and, jesting playfully, thus spake: “ Tbat denotes ill-luck, so tell us folk that are knowing When, as you enter a house, not far from the threshold you stumble. And in truth I had wisht for a better token of fortune! Here let us tarry a while, that you meet not blame of your parents, And, home bringing a halting maid, bc deemed an unthrift."
Muses, ye who so gladly regard the course of a true love,
And have brought thus far the excellent Youth on his progress,
And have prest, e'en ere the betrothal, the Maid to his bosom:
Lend ye your aid, the knot to complete that binds them together!
Part ye the dou bt ful cloud that still hangs over their fortune !
But first say, for ye can, what now goes on in the household ?
Now for the third time enter'd the Mother impatient, the chamber Where were seated the men, which, full of cares, she had quitted ; -Spoke of the suddenly overcast moon, and the gathering tempest, And of her Son who so long staid forth, and of perils of night-time; Sharply gave blame to the friends, that, no word said to the Maiden, No suit urged for the Youth, so soon from him they had parted.
“Make not worse what is bad !” thus spake the Hust out of humor; For as thou seest, we too must wait, and tarry the ending."
Tranquilly then as he sat, began with his story the Neiglibor: “Still do I gratefully think, in such disquieting seasons, of my father who, when I a boy was, pluckt out the root of All impatience in that not a fibre remained, And much better I learnt to wait than many a wise man." “Tell us," the Minister said, “ what the old man's clever device was." “ That will I gladly narrate, for each to himself may apply it,” Said the Surgeon thereto. “ As a boy, chanced once on a Sunday That I impatiently stood, for the carriage eagerly waiting Which was to take us a drive to the Fountain under the lime-trees. It came not, and I ran like a weasel hither and thither, Upstairs and downstairs oft; and from the door to the window. Beem’d to me all my fingers icht; I scratcht on the table, Drumm'd on the floor with my feet, and had almost fallen a weeping. All this saw my father in quiet; but when, at the last, I All too silly became, by the arm he tranquilly took me, Led me up to the window, and spoke what well I remember:
Seest thou the carpenter's shop there opposite, clos'd for the Sunday ? Soon on the morrow it opens, and plane and saw are in motion, Aud from morning to night they there are constantly working. But bethink thee of this: in the end there will be a morning When the Master will work, and all his journeymen with him, Making a coffin for thee, to finish it quickly and fitly. And here over the way the wooden house they will carry, Which at the last the patient alike and impatient must lie in, And which a heavy roof full soon is appointed to cover.' And forth with in my spirit I saw this as before me, Saw the boards joined together, the sad black color prepared, And sat patiently down, and waited then for the carriage. Now when others I see with eager solicitude flutter'd This way running and that, I betbink me still of the coffin.”