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I greet thee, bonny boat ! — Whither, or whence,
With thy fluttering golden band ?
I haste from the narrow land.
Full and swollen is every sail ;
I see no longer a hill,
And it will not let me stand still.
And wilt thou, little bird, go with us ?
Thou mayest stand on the mainmast tall, For full to sinking is my house
With merry companions all. —
I need not and seek not company,
Bonny boat, I can sing all alone ; For the mainmast tall too heavy am I,
Bonny boat, I have wings of my own.
High over the sails, high over the mast,
Who shall gainsay these joys ? When thy merry companions are still, at last,
Thou shalt hear the sound of my voice.
Who neither may rest, nor listen may,
God bless them every one !
And the golden fields of the sun.
Thus do I sing my weary song,
Wherever the four winds blow;
Neither Poet nor Printer may know.
FROM THE GERMAN OF MÜLLER,
I HEARD a brooklet gushing
From its rocky fountain near, Down into the valley rushing,
So fresh and wondrous clear.
I know not what came o’er me,
Nor who the counsel gave; But I must hasten downward,
All with my pilgrim-stave.
Downward, and ever farther,
And ever the brook beside; And ever fresher murmured,
And ever clearer the tide.
Is this the way I was going ?
Whither, O brooklet, say! Thou hast, with thy soft murmur, Murmured my senses away.
What do I say of a murmur ?
That can no murmur be; 'T is the water-nymphs, that are singing
Their roundelays under me.
Let thern sing, my friend, let them murmur,
And wander merrily near; The wheels of a mill are going
In every brooklet clear.