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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
In the Fisher’s Cabin
By Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)
 
From ‘Poems and Ballads’: Translation of Emma Lazarus

WE sat in the fisher’s cabin,
  Looking out upon the sea;
Then came the mists of evening,
  Ascending silently.
 
The lights began in the light-house        5
  One after one to burn,
And on the far horizon
  A ship we could still discern.
 
We spake of storm and shipwreck,
  The sailor and how he thrives,        10
And how betwixt heaven and ocean,
  And joy and sorrow he strives;
 
We spake of distant countries,
  South, North, and everywhere,
And of the curious people        15
  And curious customs there;
 
The fragrance and light of the Ganges,
  That giant trees embower,
Where a beautiful, tranquil people
  Kneel to the lotus flower;        20
 
Of the unclean folk in Lapland,
  Broad-mouthed and flat-headed and small,
Who cower upon the hearthstone,
  Bake fish, and cackle, and squall.
 
The maidens listened gravely;        25
  Then never a word was said.
The ship we could see no longer:
  It was far too dark o’erhead.
 
 
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