Back to Where You Belong
I whittled at a stick one day.
'T was just to pass the time away:
A little girl came tipping by,
With rosy look and witching eye.
With artless smile and simple grace,
She looked me sweetly in my face,
And said: 'That knife is sharp, I ween,
Another thing will cut as keen'
And then she laughed and said 'Good day',
And like a dream had flown away;
The voice, the look, was with me still,
When all at once I felt me ill.
I could not work, I could not play;
I saw and heard her all the day.
That witching eye was sharp, I ween;
O, that was what would cut so keen.
I saw and heard her day and night,
Her voice so soft, her eye so bright;
When others lay in slumber sweet,
I heard the clock each hour repeat.
I could not stay and linger so:
Like one entranced, away I go;
Through field and forest, far and wide,
I seek if there the witch doth hide.
By bush and brake, by rock and hill,
Where'er I go, I see her still:
The little girl, with witching eye,
Is ever, ever tripping by.
Through town and village, too, I stray;
At every house I call and say,
'O, can you tell me where to find
The little girl that witched my mind?'
I've sought her many a weary mile;
Methought I saw her all the while:
Ah! If I can't the witch obtain,
I never shall be well again.
Johann Peter Hebel (1760-1826)
Traduit par James Gates Percival