A hundred guests sat there.He saw his sweetheart 'midst the throng,Wrapp'd up in grave-clothes white and long;
1821.*-----WHAT shall I teach thee, the very first thing?--Fain would I learn o'er my shadow to spring!
What fearful distress
"Am I," cries she, "such a stranger here,
Truth from woe sever,Love and joy part;Days still more worthy
I feel my strength renew'd.I see her here, I see her there,
Each pearl would range itself aright.
May the Gods fierce vengeance take!
Then in calm accents replied the son, with gravity speaking"Whether I've laudably acted, I know not; I follow'd the impulseOf my own heart, as now I'll proceed to describe with exactness.Mother, you rummaged so long, in looking over old pieces,And in making your choice, that 'twas late when the bundle was ready,And the wine and the beer were slowly and carefully pack'd up.When I at length emerged at the gate, and came on the highway,Streams of citizens met I returning, with women and children,For the train of the exiles had long disappear'd in the distance.So I quicken'd my pace, and hastily drove to the villageWhere I had heard that to-night to rest and to sleep they intended.Well, as I went on my way, the newly-made causeway ascending,Suddenly saw I a waggon, of excellent timber constructed,Drawn by a couple of oxen, the best and the strongest of foreign.Close beside it there walk'd, with sturdy footsteps, a maiden,Guiding the two strong beasts with a long kind of staff, which with skill sheKnew how to use, now driving, and now restraining their progress.When the maiden observed me, she quietly came near the horses,And address'd me as follows:--'Our usual condition, believe me,Is not so sad as perchance you might judge from our present appearance.I am not yet accustom'd to ask for alms from a stranger,Who so often but gives, to rid himself of a beggar.But I'm compell'd to speak by necessity. Here on the straw nowLies the lately-confined poor wife of a wealthy landowner,Whom with much trouble I managed to save with oxen and waggon.We were late in arriving, and scarcely with life she escaped.Now the newly-born child in her arms is lying, all naked,And our friends will be able to give them but little assistance,E'en if in the next village, to which to-night we are going,We should still find them, although I fear they have left it already.If you belong to the neighbourhood, any available linenThese poor people will deem a most acceptable present.
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