Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Boy and the Mermaid by Bernhard Ingemann (1789-1862)

'Twas on a summer's evening late,
The far moon shone so clear
When a young, a fair-hair'd boy there sate
In a boat his father near.

He heard a distant voice that sung,
"Fair child, come where I live,
For bright gold stars there are among
The treasures I can give.

"These sparkling stars I'll give to thee,
If thou wilt come, fair boy,
And dwell for ever here with me
In these blue realms of joy."

"List, father! Dost thou hear that song?
See's thou yon girl?" "Be still!
See! the boat rocks, the wind is strong;
Let any sing who will."

And the voice sweetly sang again:
"Come, lovely boy, to me;
The moon shines on the crystal main,
Joy waits thee in the sea.

"Oh! thou shalt dance on the moonbeams bright,
And the glittering stars among;
Come sport with me, fair boy, this night.
List, list, what I have sung."

"Hark, father, hark! what her words tell,
She comes for me, oh, see!"
"Be still, be still, the billows swell.
"My boy, hold fast to me!"

'Tis middle night, the moon's rays float
Far o'er the waters wide,
The boy hath glided from the boat
And from his father's side.

translated by Anne S. Bushby

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