Littell's Living Age/Volume 137/Issue 1773/A Fireside Piece

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Littell's Living Age
by Heinrich Heine
translated by Theodore Martin

Volume 137, Issue 1773 : A Fireside Piece
Original German title: Altes Kamin-Stück
Originally published in Blackwood's Magazine.

Outside the blast is making riot,
     And through the darkness the snowflakes fall;
Here in my little room all is quiet,
     Warm and dry, and so snug withal.

Musing I sit on my cushioned settle,
     Facing the firelight's fitful shine;
Sings on the hob the simmering kettle,
     Songs that seem echoes of "auld lang syne."

And close beside me the cat sits purring,
     Warming her paws at the cheery gleam;
The flames keep flitting, and flickering, and whirring, -
     My mind is lapped in a realm of dream.

Many long, long forgotten summers
     Rise up, wraith-like, before my view,
Some in the brightness of masking mummers,
     Some with their splendors bedimmed in hue.

Lovely, serene-faced women sweetly
     Meanings divine in a glance convey;
Revellers, mingling among them fleetly,
     Caper and laugh, and are madly gay.

Marble gods in the distance tower;
     Near them, dream-like in beauty rare,
Is a fairy grove that has burst in flower,
     And sheds perfume on the moonlit air.

Castles full many of wizard story
     Totter along with their crests awry;
Knights behind them, in full-plumed glory,
     With troops of their squires come riding by.

'Tis gone! The beautiful dream is over!
     Away like a phantom the pageant draws!
Oh dear! The kettle is boiling over,
     And pussy is yelling with scalded paws.


This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
Original:
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
 
Translation:
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.