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

In the Fisher’s Cabin

By Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)

From ‘Poems and Ballads’: Translation of Emma Lazarus

WE sat in the fisher’s cabin,

Looking out upon the sea;

Then came the mists of evening,

Ascending silently.

The lights began in the light-house

One after one to burn,

And on the far horizon

A ship we could still discern.

We spake of storm and shipwreck,

The sailor and how he thrives,

And how betwixt heaven and ocean,

And joy and sorrow he strives;

We spake of distant countries,

South, North, and everywhere,

And of the curious people

And curious customs there;

The fragrance and light of the Ganges,

That giant trees embower,

Where a beautiful, tranquil people

Kneel to the lotus flower;

Of the unclean folk in Lapland,

Broad-mouthed and flat-headed and small,

Who cower upon the hearthstone,

Bake fish, and cackle, and squall.

The maidens listened gravely;

Then never a word was said.

The ship we could see no longer:

It was far too dark o’erhead.