Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
Winter Night
By Gottfried Keller (1819–1890)
NOT a wing was beating in the night,
Dazzling white and peaceful lay the snow,
Not a cloud hung o’er the starry light,
Frozen was the lake—all calm below.
There a tree was growing from the deep,        5
In the ice its crown was frozen fast;
And the mermaid climbed the branches steep,
Peering through the greenish ice at last.
There I stood upon the glassy sheet—
Glass that barred me from that depth so dark;        10
Well I could, beneath my very feet,
All her white and wondrous beauty mark.
At the hard, hard roof, from place to place,
Still she gropes, from stifled anguish sore;
I shall not forget that dusky face,        15
In my mind it lingers evermore!

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