Joan Braman graces the Yiddish Vinkl with another of her translations of an English classic into Yiddish. This week, she has chosen a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
As a fond mother, when the day is o’er
Leads by the hand her little child to bed,
Half willing, half reluctant to be led,
And leave his broken playthings on the floor,
Still gazing at them through the open door,
Nor wholly reassured and comforted
By promises of others in their stead,
Which, though more splendid, may not please him more;
So, Nature deals with us, and takes away
Our playthings one by one, and by the hand
Leads us to rest so gently, that we go
Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay,
Being too full of sleep to understand
How far the unknown transcends the what we know.
Vi tsertlekh di mame, ven s’geyt oys der tog,
Firt bay der hant ir kleynem kind arayn in bet,
Halb vilndik, halb shayen zikh, er zet
Zayne shpilzakhn oyfn dil ibergelozt.
Un kukndik oyf zey durkh der tir farefnter
Er shteyt dort nit baruikt un nokh fardayget.
Un khotsh andere kestlekh me vet im narayen,
Zey veln im mestome nit gefeln mer;
Azoy shaft zikh mit undz di natur, un nemt tsurik
Eyntsikvayz undzere shpilzakhn un bay der hant
Firt undz shtilerheyt tsu der ru, un mir geyen,
Oder blaybn, oder geyen, koym nit visendik;
Der umbavust ibershtaygt dos vos iz bekant,
Ober mir zaynen tsu farshlofn tsu farshteyn.