Translated into German by Herman Behr.


EI! Jung Lochinvar aus dem Westen zieht ein!”

Das geschwindeste Ross in der Grenzmark war sein, Der wackere Pallasch sein ganzes Gewehr. Er ritt chne Harnisch, allein kam er her. In der Minne getreu, im Kampfe ein Aar, Nie gab's einen Ritter wie Jung Lochinvar!

Ueber Stock, über Stein ritt er immer görad zu,
Die furtlose Eske durchschwamm er im Nu,
Wie im Fluge erreicht er Schloss Netherbys Tor,
Doch es kam ihm der Nebenbuhler zuvor;
Denn ein trauriger Wicht, feig in Lieb und Gefahr,
Sollte freien schön Ellen des Jung Lochinvar.

Und furchtlos und kühn trat er ein in den Saal,
Unter Sippschaft und Brautführer allzumal.
Die Hand an dem Schwerte der Brautvater spricht-
Denn kein Wort fand der Bräut'gam, der elende Wicht:-
“Wollt ihr Krieg oder Frieden, sagt's bündig und klar,
Oder kommt ihr zum Brauttanz, mein Lord Lochinvar?”

"Ich liebt eure Tochter, ihr Wort sie mir brach;
Liebe schwillt gleich dem Solway, doch Ebbe folgt nach;
Nun bin ich gekommen zu tanzen den Reih'n,
Und mit ihr, die mein Lieb' einst, zu trinken den Wein.
'S gibt Mädchen in Schottland, viel schöner fürwahr,
Die gern möchten freien den Jung Lochinvar!”

Die Braut nippt vom Becher, der Ritter ihn leert
Im Zug bis zur Neige, und wirft ihn zur Erd'.
Verschämt sieht sie nieder, blickt seufzend empor,
Durch Tränen bricht zärtlich ein Lächeln hervor.
Er fasst ihre Hand, eh's die Mutter gewahr;
“Auf, Liebchen, zum Tanze!” spricht Jung Lochinvar.

Er hehr von Gestalt, und ihr Antlitz so schön,
Nie ward in dem Saal solch ein Tanzen gesehn;
Es grämt sich die Mutter, den Vater packt Wut,
Der Bräutigam spielt mit der Feder am Hut.
Und die Brautjungfern flüstern: “'s wär besser fürwahr,
Würde Ellen die Gattin des Jung Lochinvar.”

Ein Druck seiner Hand, und ein Wort ihr ins Ohr,
Als die Tür sie erreichten—sein Ross stand davor;
Und leicht auf die Kruppe das Mädchen er schwang,
Und leicht vor sie hin in den Sattel er sprang!
"Sie ist mein, und sie bleibt es auf immerdar;
Kein Pferd überholt uns !" jauchzt Jung Lochinvar.

Und Netherbys Sippe wirft schnell sich aufs Ross,
Fosters, Fenwicks und Musgraves mit all ihrem Tross;
Sie setzten und hetzten durch Felder und Höh'n,
Doch die Braut, die Verlor'ne, ward nie mehr geseh'n!
In der Minne so kühn, unverzagt in Gefahr-
Gab's je einen Ritter wie Jung Lochinvar?


YOUNG SURGEON [in hospital, after having amputated patient's leg]. Does the operation meet your approval, doctor ?

HEAD SURGEON. Very well done, except for a slight mistake.
YOUNG SURGEON. Why, what's the matter?
HEAD SURGEON. You've amputated the wrong leg.




HE late afternoon sunlight slanted down into the busy street

through the trees of the Public Garden. It had been the sort of day which whispers of other scenes, old faces, gentle memories and painted possibilities. Now along the street came the ebb-tide of the day's work swept out from the business part of the city and jostling homeward.

Among the home-gcers was a man distinguished a little from the rest by a refined and patient expression. His shoulders sloped as if they had borne much; his eyes were open in a stare as if astounded at the repetition of life's misfortunes; and his clothes, from his derby hat, shiny from his wife's endless brushings, to his shoes, flattened by the monotony of his daily life, told of the practice of much respectable economy. Trouble had felt of his throat, one would say, but never had succeeded in throttling him. There was a quiet, reserved strength in the furrows of his forehead and in the solidity of his chin, and the wrinkles at the corner of his blue eyes declared that there was a fund of persistent hope in Carter Clews.

Looking up suddenly, he saw four men coming down the steps of a hotel toward an onen carriage which had drawn up to the curb. Three were inclined to the stoutness of middle age, and all were laughing prosperously, and chatting vociferously of commencement dinners and baseball games and class reunions; it was evident that they were four successful men on a holiday, and straining to be young again.

Carter Clew's smiled with boyish pleasure, for one of them was “Newt" Riggs, who used to row on the crew and was now a corporation attorney in Chicago; and there was Billy Drowson, who used to flunk examinations as easily as if he meant to do it; and the third was Joe Crane, who was making his two hundred thousand a year in metal refining in Colorado; and the little man was Lapham, the surgeon, who had been marshal of the class.

The last had just seated himself comfortably in the carriage, when Clews succeeded in pushing his way into the gap they had left in the crowd. Both Joseph Crane and Lapham, seeing him take a step toward them, opened their eyes in innocent surprise; neither of them recognized him. He stopped for a moment of embarrassed hesitation, and in that moment he felt with a sharp old pang that he belonged among them no more. They were successful men.

Carter Clews stepped back into the gray shadow of the portico. The carriage started away with a laugh and the scrape of a wheel on the curb, and Clews started on his way once more.

His daily trudge to and from his office was the result of a calculation that enough carfare was saved each year to buy an extra gown for his daughter. Life had toyed with him, showing her splendors and snatching them from his fingers; had taught him culture and then laughed at him.

The rattle of his key brought his wife to the door, and the usual smiles and kisses of welcome reminded him of the old duty of keeping his feelings to himself.

“Was there any mail to-day?"

“There was a postal-card came to-day for you, dad. It had been to all of the four places we have lived since we came back from Iowa, and so it was late in getting here. It was the announcement of the twenty-fifth anniversary dinner of your class; you'll go, won't you?"

“Where's the postal?"

“Do go, dad; we don't like to have you forgotten. It's only six. The dinner's at eight. You'll have plenty of time, father.”

Clews took the card, holding it under the light of the lamp on the center-table. His fingers trembled a little as he read it.

“The last dinner I went to was in our Senior year, just before I graduated and went West; I was toast-master at that dinner. It was a Spring night like this. I remember a little crowd of us sat under a tree in the college-yard and talked until daylight. We promised each other, half in fun, that the one who got to be forty-five years old and wasn't successful should jump into the river. And then we went up to my room for a coll bath, and I built a fire and heated the poker and burned my name into the mantel-piece."

He tossed the card aside. His wife could see upon his face the unmistakable sign that the accumulation of years of disappointment was no longer to be continued in silence.

“I've been a miserable fizzle! Unknown and forgotten because I deserve it!”

Edith looked straight at him. “That is not true," she said, softly.

“Perhaps it's a bad dream! It's been my fault. No wonder I'm forgotten! Everybody flocks around a victory, but who cares where the man is who failed to do big things? Once he marched in the front line, promising a great deal, and now he's got to watch the procession from the sidewalk. It would be better, if a man can't make himself felt and has got to walk around unknown -to keep his promise and

"Don't, father!”

He looked upon his daughter's face, and seeing the trembling of her upper lip, drew a long breath and squared his shoulders.

“Well, perhaps we all have our compensations."
“You are going to your class-dinner, aren't you?”
"No, I think I won't go this time. Perhaps next year-”

“Oh, yes, for me! I'll get your evening clothes. They're put away."

When he appeared in them a little later, he looked doubtfully at himself in the mirror, then suddenly smiled.

“I've had them ever since we were married. Their style looks rather quaint, doesn't it? But I've had some very happy minutes inside the old coat. Do you remember this tie, Alice?"

“Why, for mercy's sake! That was the first thing I ever made

[blocks in formation]
« 上一页继续 »