Der Belsnickel by Henry Harbaugh

 

BelsnickelDer Belsnickel

Oh, do you know that ugly, that nasty man?
Wow! Can you call that fellow a human being?
Yes, that he is a human, may be believed by whomever wants to,
He looks to me too much like the devil!

Just look at his eyes, his nose—wow!
He opens and closes his mouth like shears;
A tail like an ox, yes, that he has, right?
And a hairy pelt like the bears.

If he comes into your house, there’ll be noise enough,
He seeks out the bad children!
And if he finds one, he get right to the point,
And beats, very badly, the sinners.
 
He stands there with that terrible whip,
And grumbles his threatening speech;
The children suddenly become very good
And begin to pray mightily!

If one of them, as is sometimes the case, was right mischievous;
Wanted to mock his mother’s whip;
I bet he won’t laugh at Belsnickel’s whip—
He quickly begs for good weather.

Now Belsnickel shakes his bag terribly,
Out fall the cakes and chestnuts;
Whoever is good can pick them up; whoever is bad, then whack!
He flogs him thoroughly.

From the Belsnickel I have now learned something,
I will never forget it:
After you sow, then in the harvest
The fruit of your work is meted out!

* Translated by PBS.org

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