by Joseph Von Eichendorff
translated from the German by Vernon Watkins
High with the clouds migrating birds forgather.
Earth sleeps, the boughs half stripped where foliage sprang.
Hushed are the songs that late so sweetly rang,
And winter covers all with gloomy weather.
The wall clock ticks, and still with ruffled feather
Softly the bird sings which in autumn sang.
You turn, shielded from ice and storm's harangue,
A picture book which holds the past together.
Often such mildness age would have me learn.
Wait: overnight the wind will turn with grace,
And you may feel from roofs the dew descending.
One at the window knocks with happy face.
Astonished, you step out, nor then return,
For the spring comes at last which has no ending.
I remember, when I was a child, Aunt Lena never visited us without bringing some delight. God rest her soul.
A note: The Singer model 66 was hers.