Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
Like One of These Was He
By Arno Holz (1863–1929)
IN the woods is a village small
Lying in the sunshine’s gold;
By the hillside house, the last of all,
Sits a woman old, so old.
    She sits and spins no more,        5
    Her thread slips to her feet,
    She thinks of the days of yore
    And sinks into slumber sweet.
Noonday steals with quiet deep
O’er the glimmering green, and now        10
Even thrush and cricket sleep
And the steer before the plough.
    All at once they’re marching by,
    Gleaming the woods along—
    Ahead of the soldiers fly        15
    Drum-beats and fifes’ gay song.
And to the song of Blücher brave,
“They’re here!” cries the village gay,
And all the little maidens wave,
And the boys cry out: “Hurray!”        20
    God bless the harvest gold,
    And all the wide world too!
    The Emperor’s soldiers bold
    The fields are marching through!
Turning round by the hillside near,        25
Where the last house seems to smile,
See, the first in the woods disappear,
And the old woman wakes meanwhile.
    So heavy her heart is growing
    In deepest revery,        30
    Her tears are flowing, flowing:
    “Like one of these was he!”

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