by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation by Leonard J[ordan] Lehrman (b. 1949)

The goddess made me a pot of tea
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The goddess made me a pot of tea  --  
a dash of rum including;
While she herself enjoyed the rum 
without the tea intruding.

Then on my shoulder she inclined her head 
(the crown she wore  --  she
had managed thereby to have chipped it a bit), 
and then gently she implored me:

"Do not return, but stay with us; 
here lovely traditions keep well,
And many a quiet pleasure too  --  
right here, with our people.

Germany is better.  We look ahead 
without our past forsaking.
We have advanced.  Why, you yourself 
have seen progress-making.

So awful Germany never was, 
'spite every indecision  -- 
Trust me: No prisoner ever 
starved in any German prison.

'Die Gedanken sind frei'  --  and the people too 
are free  --  almost to excesses.
Restrictions come only now and then 
for owners of printing presses.

If you could be quiet, I'd let you see 
how all of the pieces will fit in
To form what the gods have decided, 
and the hand of Fate has written!"

"My God! O Goddess -- " I cried, entranced  --  
"Show me, and let nothing delay you!
Let me see Germany's future fate 
and I shall never betray you!"

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Researcher for this text: Leonard Lehrman

This text was added to the website: 2010-09-15
Line count: 32
Word count: 193