The Song Of The Tumbledown House

A tumbledown old house I know –
Beside its doorstep burdocks grow;
Its narrow windows seem to wince
As if it grieves and weeps long since,
As if it were already tired
Of earthly, beggarly attire.

A cross and well-pole lean outside;
The fence is almost nullified;
Caved in and crooked, poorly thatched,
The roof still hangs, repaired and patched,
The straw upon it sticking out,
Quite often torn by storms, no doubt.

Where noisy feet at balls once leapt
The floor now creaks, unwashed, unswept.
Where youthful joy once sang, divine,
Dry willows, bent, the pathway line.
The yard's in a neglected state;
Long since no dog barks at the gate.

The housewife doesn't hear a thing,
Though once she'd made young heartstrings ring.
The leaves on garden trees scarce shake,
So the tired widow shouldn't wake
And not be parted with her wealth –
Her sleep, her dreams of youth and health.

Translated by Dorian Rottenberg
(Contributed by daniel on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011)
 
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