Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
The Shepherd’s Day
By Stefan George (1868–1933)
THE FLOCKS were trudging from their winter haunts.
Their youthful shepherd once again went forth
Upon the plain illumined by the stream.
The gaily wakened fields waved greetings gay
And singing lands were hailing him with joy.        5
He smiled unto himself and walked along
With wakening heart upon the spring-touched ways.
Upon his crook he leaped across the ford,
And, as he halted at the other shore,
Rejoiced to see the gold that waves had washed        10
From underneath the stones, and fragile shells
Of many shapes and tints that promised luck.
The bleating of his lambs he heard no more,
And wandered to the woods, the cool ravine.
There brooks are rushing headlong down the rocks—        15
The rocks where mosses drip and naked roots
Of sombre beeches darkly intertwine.
In silent contemplation of the leaves
He fell asleep, although the sun was high
And silver scales were glistening in the stream.        20
He woke and climbing reached the mountain peak
To celebrate the passing of the light.
With sacred leaves he crowned his head and prayed;
And through the mild and gently stirring shadows
Of darkening clouds soared forth his hearty lay.        25

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