The pale half-moon of autumn

Text by Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)
Translated into English by Joseph Massaad 

deutsch - franšais


The pale half-moon of autumn,
Peeks through the cloudy sky;
Quietly by the churchyard,
One sees the parsonage lie.

The mother reads in her Bible,
At the light, the son does gaze,
The elder daughter dozes,
The younger one declares:

Oh Lord, how boring the days are!
How dreary and dull and mean!
Only when someone gets buried,
Is there anything to be seen.

While still reading, the mother says:
No, only four were buried in all,
Since your father was laid to rest,
There, by the churchyard wall.

Then the eldest daughter yawns:
I no longer wish to stay here,
Tomorrow, I'll go to the count,
He is rich and he loves me dear.

The son burst out into laughter:
At the tavern drink huntsmen three,
They're making money and gladly,
Would share their secret with me.

The mother flings the Bible
At his face, half torn with grief:
God forsaken, that's what you'll be,
A miserable common thief!

They hear a tap at the window
And see a beckoning hand;
Outside, in his black clothing,
They see the dead father stand.