Posts tagged ‘james gates percival’

Sunday, 24 October 2021

The Little Witch by Johann Peter Hebel

I whittled at a stick one day, —
‘T was just to pass the time away:
A little girl came tripping by,
With rosy look and witching eye.

With artless smile and simple grace,
She looked me sweetly in my face,
And said, ” That knife is sharp, I ween, —
Another thing will cut as keen. ”

And then she laughed, and said, ” Good-day, ”
And like a dream had flown away;
The voice, the look, was with me still,
When all at once I felt me ill.

I could not work, I could not play;
I saw and heard her all the day.
That witching eye was sharp, I ween;
O, that was what would cut so keen.

I saw and heard her day and night, —
Her voice so soft, her eye so bright:
When others lay in slumber sweet,
I heard the clock each hour repeat

I could not stay and linger so:
Like one entranced, away I go;
Through field and forest, far and wide,
I seek if there the witch doth hide.

By bush and brake, by rock and hill,
Where’er I go, I see her still:
The little girl, with witching eye,
Is ever, ever tripping by.

Through town and village, too, I stray;
At every house I call and say,
” O, can you tell me where to find
The little girl that witched my mind? ”

I’ve sought her many a weary mile;
Methought I saw her all the while:
Ah! if I can’t the witch obtain,
I never shall be well again.

From: https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/hexli-little-witch

Date: 1803 (original in German), 18?? (translation in English)

By: Johann Peter Hebel (1760-1826)

Translated by: James Gates Percival (1795-1856)

Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Coral Grove by James Gates Percival

Deep in the wave is a coral grove,
Where the purple mullet, and gold-fish rove,
Where the sea-flower spreads its leaves of blue,
That never are wet with falling dew,
But in bright and changeful beauty shine,
Far down in the green and glassy brine.
The floor is of sand, like the mountain drift;
And the pearl shells spangle the flinty snow;
From coral rocks the sea plants lift
Their boughs, where the tides and billows flow;
The water is calm and still below,
For the winds and waves are absent there,
And the sands are bright as the stars that glow
In the motionless fields of upper air:
There with its waving blade of green,
The sea-flag streams through the silent water,
And the crimson leaf of the dulse is seen
To blush, like a banner bathed in slaughter:
There with a light and easy motion,
The fan-coral sweeps through the clear deep sea;
And the yellow and scarlet tufts of ocean.
Are bending like corn on the upland lea:
And life, in rare and beautiful forms,
Is sporting amid those bowers of stone,
And is safe, when the wrathful spirit of storms,
Has made the top of the wave his own:
And when the ship his fury flies,
Where the myriad voices of ocean roar,
When the wind-god frowns in the murky skies,
And demons are waiting the wreck on shore;
Then far below in the peaceful sea,
The purple mullet, and gold-fish rove,
Where the waters murmur tranquilly,
Through the bending twigs of the coral grove.

From: Percival, James G, Poems, 1823, Charles Wiley: New York, pp. 318-319.
(http://www.unz.org/Pub/PercivalJames-1823?View=ReadIt)

Date: 1823

By: James Gates Percival (1795-1856)