We walked, many years and long ago,

Down an icy stream on naked feet.

The trees were stout with age, and so

Young were we, and so incomplete,

No inkling came to us of the coming death

Of wildness.  Clear water, shadowed forest,

Was a given that we drew upon with each breath.

Fierce blue skies glimmered through the leaves. Birds chorused

Raining chirps and whistles.  Hawks faintly shrieked.

Warm winds hissed and spider strands

Wrapped across our faces.  Sharp beaked

Woodpeckers hammered high above.  Our hands

Sprung branches that we met

That struck us back in whooshing slaps.

Round stones beneath our feet, white, wet,

Seemed oval eggs, and in the gaps

The brown clay mud sucked our toes.

How strong still is that memory.  It taps

The liquid grace of time and place that knows

How wonderful that world had been.  That stream

From strong and far off memory still flows

And sounds its lively melody when I dream.


5 thoughts on “Pastoral

    1. Fritz Wunderlich

      Vater, Mutter, Schwestern, Brüder, Father Mother Sisters Brothers

      Hab’ ich auf der Welt nicht mehr, have I in this world no more

      Kehrt’ ich auch zur Heimat wieder, returning to my homeland again

      Fänd’ ich alles öd und leer, I’d find everything bleak and empty.

      Ja, wenn nur noch eins am Leben! If only one could still be alive!

      Das sollt’ eine Freude geben! This would be such joy!

      O wie süss und o wie schön O how sweet and o how beautiiful (wonderful)

      Wär’ ein solches Wiedersehn! would be such reunion!

      In der Reichsstadt traf ich neulich In the Capital city, I recently met
      Einen dicken Schenkwirt an; a fat innkeeper;
      ,,Freundchen!” rief er,,,nicht so eilig, “Just you wait, my friend”,he called…don’t hurry,”
      Seid so gut und kommt heran. “Please come here for a moment.
      Gelt, lhr wisst, wovon ich spreche, Well,you know what I am speaking of.
      Zahlt mir jetzt die schuld’ge Zeche!” I aks you to pay the bill you owe me!”
      Das war mir, ich muss gestehn, This was, I have to admit,
      Gar kein freudig Wiedersehn! not a pleasant reunion!

      Hab’schon öfter sagen hören, I have heard several times
      Dass man dort sich wiedersieht. that reunion happens.
      Aber niemand kann’s beschwören, But no one can confirm by oath.
      Keiner weiss, was dort geschieht. No one knows what happens there.
      Wenn es fest und sicher stände, If there were definite proof,
      Dass man da sich wiederfände, that we could re-unite again,
      Wär’ in jenen lichten Höh’n it would be in light Heavens
      Wohl das schönste Wiedersehn! the most delightful reunion !


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