Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
The Workman
By Richard Dehmel (1863–1920)
WE have a bed and we have a child,
    My wife!
And work we’ve for two—all our own to call,
And rain and the wind and the sunshine mild.
We are lacking now but one thing small        5
To be as free as the birds so wild:
    Time—that’s all!
When on Sundays through the fields we go,
    My child,
And see how the swallows to and fro        10
Are shooting over the grain-stalks tall,
Oh, we lack not clothes, though our share is small,
To be as fair as the birds so wild:
    Time—that’s all.
But time! We’re scenting a tempest wild,        15
    We people!
Eternity our own to call—
That’s what we lack, my wife, my child,
And all that blooms through us, the small,
To make us gay as the birds so wild:        20
    Time—that’s all.

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