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


The Watchman

By Franz von Dingelstedt (1814–1881)

Anonymous translation

THE LAST faint twinkle now goes out

Up in the poet’s attic;

And the roysterers, in merry rout,

Speed home with steps erratic.

Soft from the house-roofs showers the snow,

The vane creaks on the steeple,

The lanterns wag and glimmer low

In the storm by the hurrying people.

The houses all stand black and still,

The churches and taverns deserted,

And a body may now wend at his will,

With his own fancies diverted.

Not a squinting eye now looks this way,

Not a slanderous mouth is dissembling,

And a heart that has slept the livelong day

May now love and hope with trembling.

Dear Night! thou foe to each base end,

While the good still a blessing prove thee,

They say that thou art no man’s friend,—

Sweet Night! how I therefore love thee!