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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII. 1876–79.


Enviable Poverty

By Benedikt Dalei

Anonymous translation

I GLANCE into the harvest field,

Where, ’neath the shade of richest trees,

The reaper and the reaper’s wife

Enjoy their noonday ease.

And in the shadow of the hedge

I hear full many a merry sound,

Where the stout, brimming water-jug

From mouth to mouth goes round.

About the parents, in the grass,

Sit boys and girls of various size,

And, like the buds about the rose,

Make glad my gazing eyes.

See! God himself from heaven spreads

Their table with the freshest green,

And lovely maids, his angel band,

Bear heaped dishes in.

A laughing infant’s sugar lip,

Waked by the mother’s kiss, doth deal

To the poor parents a dessert

Still sweeter than their meal.

From breast to breast, from arm to arm,

Goes wandering round the rosy boy,

A little circling flame of love,

A living, general joy.

And strengthened thus for farther toil,

Their toil is but joy fresh begun;

That wife,—O, what a happy wife!

And, O, how rich is that poor man!