31

From the clouds the autumn half-moon
Looks out with sickly glance,
And alone at the end of the churchyard
There stands the silent manse.

The mother reads the Bible;
The son stares with stony eyes;
The elder daughter dozes;
The younger daughter cries:

“How one day after another
Drags on with weary pace!
And excepting when someone's buried
There's nothing to see in the place!”

The mother speaks while she's reading:
“Not so—only four have died,
Since the day they buried thy father
The churchyard gate beside.”

Then yawns the elder daughter:
“I will not starve with you here;
To-morrow I'll go to the squire,
He's rich, and he holds me dear!”

The boy shrieks out with laughter:
“Three poachers carouse at ‘The Sun’;
They fill their pockets finely;
They'll tell me how it is done.”

The mother hurls her Bible
At the haggard face of her son;
“And wouldst thou be a felon,
O God-accursed one?”

They hear a rap at the window:
They see beseeching hands;
And, clad in his gown as a preacher,
There the dead father stands.
Author of original: 
Heinrich Heine
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