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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.


From the German. The Two Locks of Hair

  • (Der Junggesell)
    By Gustav Pfizer

  • A YOUTH, light-hearted and content,

    I wander through the world;

    Here, Arab-like, is pitched my tent

    And straight again is furled.

    Yet oft I dream, that once a wife

    Close in my heart was locked,

    And in the sweet repose of life

    A blessed child I rocked.

    I wake! Away that dream,—away!

    Too long did it remain!

    So long, that both by night and day

    It ever comes again.

    The end lies ever in my thought;

    To a grave so cold and deep

    The mother beautiful was brought;

    Then dropt the child asleep.

    But now the dream is wholly o’er,

    I bathe mine eyes and see;

    And wander through the world once more,

    A youth so light and free.

    Two locks—and they are wondrous fair—

    Left me that vision mild;

    The brown is from the mother’s hair,

    The blond is from the child.

    And when I see that lock of gold,

    Pale grows the evening-red;

    And when the dark lock I behold,

    I wish that I were dead.