Thursday, 22 October 2015

A Vignette - Carl Spitteler

A troop of children scales the ridge, and cries
Challenge to April skies.
     "Come on! No fear!"
     Hats off! This is not play;
They mean to storm high-heaven today.
     It lies so near!
See how, above, it peeps through tall green grasses!

Two silver bell-notes, borne on morning breeze that passes,
     Happy and careless, lightly swinging.
     Come singing, ringing.
"Where lies our pathway now?"
"Above that little crowd of starry faces,
     Over the hill we go
To paths that pearl-white cherry-blossom traces,"
     They say - then sing, then soar
To hill, to cherry-blossoms, and are heard no more.

But what of the child-army under?
Oh, they are all gazing in wonder:
"A hedge-hog!" they say -
Heaven's safe for to-day.

Carl Spitteler (1845 — 1924) Switzerland
Translated by Ethel Colburn Mayne

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