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Poems

Anna Richter (1865-1921): I saw the Christ-child! Imagine it, though

Translated by Timothy Adès

Denkt Euch, ich habe das Christkind gesehn

Denkt Euch, ich habe das Christkind gesehn.
Es kam aus dem Walde, das Mützchen voll Schnee,
mit rotgefrorenem Näschen.

Die kleine Hände taten ihm weh,
denn es trug einen Sack, der war gar schwer,
schleppte und polterte hinter ihm her.

Was drin war, möchtet ihr wissen?
Ihr Naseweise, ihr Schelmenpack –
denkt ihr, er wäre offen, der Sack?

Zugebunden bis oben hin!
doch war gewiß etwas Schönes drin!
Es roch so nach Äpfeln und Nüssen!

I saw the Christ-child! Imagine it, though –
He came from the wood with his cap full of snow,
His poor little nose red and frozen.

His little hands ached from a heavy load
He had a sack that he toted and towed
It dragged along loudly behind him.

What was in it, you’d like to know?
You nosey parkers, you rascal-pack,
Do you suppose it was open, the sack?

Up to the top it was tied tight shut
But something good was surely inside –
Such a scent of apples and nuts!

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès