Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
The Three Children
By Albert Edmund Trombly, trans.
From the Old French

ONCE there were three small children
Who went into the fields to glean.
They came at night to a butcher’s house:
“Butcher, have you beds for us?”
“Come, little children, come in, come in;        5
Assuredly there’s room within.”
Hardly had they passed the wall
Than the butcher killed them all.
He cut them up and put each bit
Like pork into the salting-pit.        10
Seven years later Saint Nicholas
He happened in that place to pass,
Betook himself to the butchery:
“Butcher, have you a bed for me?”
“Come in, come in, Saint Nicholas;        15
There’s room, there is no lack of space.”
Hardly had he entered there
Than he asked for his supper.
“Is it a piece of ham you would?”
“I don’t want any, it isn’t good.”        20
“Would you like a piece of veal?”
“I don’t want any, it doesn’t look well.”
“I’d like to have some little meat
That’s seven years in the salting-pit.”
When the butcher heard this said        25
He bolted from his door and fled.
“Butcher, butcher, don’t run away—
God will forgive you if you pray.”
Saint Nicholas did three fingers rub
On the edge of the salting-tub.        30
The first child said, “I slept very well!”
“And so did I!” the second tells.
The third child spoke up in this wise,
“I thought I was in Paradise!”

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