Home  »  library  »  poem  »  From Childhood

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

From Childhood

By Detlev von Liliencron (1844–1909)

Translation of Bernard Raymund

I SAT to-day quite buried in old letters,

When suddenly one fell into my hands

Whose date, when once deciphered, startled me,

It was so many years, so long ago.

Large, small, broad, crowded up the writing stood

And richly mixed with smudgy finger-prints:

“Dear Cousin Fritz: The trees are all bare now,

We don’t play soldier any more nor robbers,

Turk broke his right front leg the other day,

And poor Aunt Anna’s tooth aches all the time.

This morning papa went out pheasant shooting.

I guess that’s all there is to write about.

I’m well, I hope that you are too. Be sure

To answer this. Yours truly, Sigismund.”

“The trees are all bare now—” the bitter words

Made me fold up the letter silently,

Pick up my hat and gloves, seize coat and cane

And hasten out upon my heath once more.