Straightway into the room the son made entry,
And in calm accents with gravity speaking:

"When I passed the gate and came upon the highway,
Streams of citizens I met returning; I quickened my pace,
For the train of exiles had long disappeared. Hastily
I drove to the village where I had heard to rest and sleep
They intended; as I went on my way, ascending
The newly-made causeway, suddenly I saw a wagon
Drawn by oxen.
Close beside it there walked,

With sturdy footsteps, a maiden guiding the beasts
With a staff which she knew how with skill to use,

Now driving, now restraining their progress.

When the maiden observed me, she came near and said:

'Not so sad is our lot as it may seem to thee,

Nor alms would we ask of the stranger;

But have you linen and food to give these people

In their distress and their hunger?'


My mother sent me to relieve your wants and help the needy.' With joy she thanked me and said heartily:

'May your kindness be by Heaven requited.'

On then she drove the oxen. I followed,

Overtook the maiden and said to her quickly:


Maiden, my mother sent not linen and food alone;

She added wine, the weak to refresh, too;

I will put this in your care to divide with prudence.'

She replied: With faithfulness I will bestow your gifts,

And the weak and the weary shall rejoice at your bounty.''

When Hermann had ended his story the neighbor

Exclaimed: "Only deem the man happy who lives in his house In these days of flight and hardship and exile."


Neighbor," rejoined Hermann, with emphasis,
"Altogether I differ. Can he be deemed worthy
Who thinks alone of self, and knows not the secret
Of sharing the joys and sorrows of others?

Many an excellent maiden needs a husband's protection
And many a man a cheerful wife his home to enliven."

Smilingly said the father: "Words of such wisdom in my presence
Have seldom been uttered by youth." Then spake the mother:
"Son, we set the example; not in times of mirth and of pleasure
Made we our choice of each other. The saddest of hours

Knitted us closely together." "And, my Hermann, you would cheer
Our old age," said the father, "if you bring us a daughter.
Bring home one of the girls of the neighborhood,

As I brought your mother before you."

Modestly answered the son: "Truly my wish was like yours,

To marry a neighbor's daughter; one whom, in fact,

I sported with in youthful days. But I have found them.
Vain and unloving, unlike the Eve of Adam."

"Little comfort you give me, son. I always have said
You possess not a due sense of honor."

The son arose

And approached the doorway in silence. After him shouted the


"Be off! Go and look after the business! But fancy not

That I'll ever allow you to bring home in triumph,

As my daughter-in-law, an impudent stranger.

Long have I lived in the world; and she whom you marry

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Must be able to soften my cares and vexations At these words, Softly the son raised the latch and left the apartment.

Forthwith to the husband spake then the mother: "Father, you're unjust to speak thus to our son.

We cannot fashion our children after our own fancy;

We must bring them up for the best, but let each do as he listeth. My Hermann shall not be upbraided. You daily

Dishearten him, and make the poor fellow unhappy

Then after her son she hastened, hoping with words of affection To gladden his heart, for well he deserved it.

She searched for her son till she found him at last

Under the shade of a tree, perched on the top of a hill.

'Neath its shadow the herdsman was wont to lie

When tending the cattle; benches made of rough stones
And of turf were placed all about it.

And there Hermann sat, his head on his armı,

And seemed looking toward the mountains beyond.
Softly creeping up, she tapped him lightly on the shoulder.
When he turned, she saw his eyes filled with tears.
"Mother," he said, in confusion, "why came you here?"
"My son, tell me what has saddened your heart?
You are weeping-what is it that makes you unhappy?"
Then he answered: " Truly, that man can have no heart
Who has no sympathy for the unfortunate exiles.
What I to-day have seen and heard has stirred my heart;
And though I am an only son, I deeply regret

I am not among those who are fighting for them.
I long to live and die for my country, and, dying,
Set an example worthy for others to follow.

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But leave me now, mother; for as in my bosom I cherish
Wishes that are but vain, my life will be to no purpose."

“But tell me, my son, all that has happened,

The least as well as the greatest."

Then the youth gave way to his sorrow, replying:

"My father's words to-day have wounded me sadly, For I have always meant to honor my parents.

None ever appeared to me so prudent and wise,

Who in the days of childhood so carefully guided and watched me, Whose only thought was for my sake to swell their possessions.

I look down from this height and see how beautiful

Lies the rich expanse of vineyard and gardens;

Then I descry the gables and roof of our house.

Yet lonely do all things appear, the court and the garden,

The beautiful field which spreads over the hillside;

Yet a desert it seems, as there is none to share in its beauty."

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Why not, then, my son, do as your father and mother

Have urged-choose some fair maiden. Answer me plainly,

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For my spirit tells me your choice already is made;
I know full well 'tis that poor emigrant maiden."
"It is even as you say, dear mother; yes, it is she.
But unless soon as my bride I should claim her
She will go on her way and escape me forever
In the confusion of war and the sad life of the exile.
Therefore, let me go hence, for my father has said
His house no longer is mine, if he shuts out
The maiden I would fain take as my bride."
"If she is worthy and good, my son, your father,
I feel sure, will give his consent to your marriage.
Men are like rocks when they stand opposite each other,
Proud and unyielding; but your father requires

Only kind words of persuasion, and, perhaps, the help
Of our excellent pastor. Come, we will venture at once."

The three were still sitting and talking together,

The landlord, the worthy divine, and the druggist.

"You should," said the excellent pastor, "bless your son's dispo


So peaceful, and the like-minded maiden he wishes to marry."
Thus he spoke. At that, mother and son stood before them.
"Father," she said, "how often have we, when talking together,
Spoke of the joyful day in the future when Hermann,

After long waiting, selecting his bride, would make us both happy;
Now the day has arrived; his heart has at length decided,

And now he has chosen, with heartfelt emotion,

The fair maiden, the stranger among the exiles.

Give her him; else life will be to our son not worth the living.". And said the son: "My father, she'll make you an excellent


The father replies: "Strangely, indeed, has your tongue been loosened.

I see how the will of a son and a too gentle mother,
And neighbors all too ready to forward thy suit,—
How useless 'twill be to resist so many together;

For I see I must yield, else defiance will greet me.

Go, then, and bring the maiden home as my daughter."
The son exclaimed, with jubilant gesture:

"Ere evening arrives you will have the dearest of daughters,
Such as the man desires whose bosom is governed by prudence.
But I will loiter no longer; I'll straightway harness the horses."
Then seized the whip and took his seat in the carriage,
Not delaying a moment, but galloping uphill and downhill.

As the man on a journey who, just at sunset,

Fixes his gaze once more on the vanishing planet,
Then on the rocks, and in the dark thicket still sees

Hov'ring its image, so, before Hermann's eyes,

Did the beautiful form of the maiden softly move,

And appeared to follow the path through the cornfields.
But he roused himself from his dream, and toward the village
Turned his steps, and started; for once more

Saw he her stately figure approaching.

It was no phantom; in truth, 'twas she herself.

In her hands she carried two pitchers - one larger,

One smaller,—and nimbly walked to the fountain.
The sight gave him courage and strength,
And he said: "I find you again, dearest maiden,
Giving refreshment to those who need it.

Tell me why you have come alone to the spring,

While the rest are content with water found in the village.

Is't for the sick you saved with such courage?"

Saluting the youth in friendly fashion,

Said the maiden: "My walk to the fountain is fully rewarded, Since I have found our kind benefactor.

Come and see for yourself the good you have done,

And receive the thanks of those your kindness has blessed." Soon with her companion she arrived at the steps,

And both sat them down on the low wall.

She bent herself over to draw out the water;

He took also the pitcher and bent over the wall;

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