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The Magic Shoes
by [?]


IT was stiller, dimmer twilight – amber toornin’ into gold,
Like young maidens’ hairs get yellow und more dark as dey crow old;
Und dere shtood a high ruine vhere de Donau rooshed along,
All lofely, yet neclected – like an oldt und silent song.

Out shpoke der Ritter Breitmann, “Ven I hafe not forgot,
Ich kenn an anciendt shtory of dis inderesdin shpot,
Of the Deutscher Middleolter vot de Minnesingers sung,
Ven dot olt ruine oben vas a-bloomin, fair, und yung.

“Vonce dere lifed a noble fraülein – fery peautiful vas she,
More ash twendy dimes goot lookin – it is in de historie;
Und mit more ash forty quarters on her woppenshield,[1] dot men
Might beholdt mitout a discount she vas of de upper ten.

“But dough lofely as an angel, mit eyes of turkos plue,
She vas cruel ash a teufel, und de vorst man efer knew.
Vonce ven a nople young one kneeled down to her mit lofe,
She kicket him mit her slipper und oopset him on de shtove.

“Und said, ‘I do refuse you, as you may plainly see;
Und from dis day henseforvart mine refuse you shall pe,
Und when I do run afder you like dogs run afder men,
Den I vill pe your vife, yung man – boot keep avay dill denn!’

“He lishten to her crimly, and no single vort he said,
Boot de bitter dings she spoken poot der teufel in his head;
For she hafe not learned de visdom, vich is alvays safe and sound,
‘Don’t go to pourin’ water on a mouse ven id ist trowned.’

“Vonce, at de end of autoom, ven de vind vos bitter cold,
Dis maiden out a-ridin’ met a voman poor and old;
Her feets vere bare and pleedin’, and she said, ‘Ah! ton’t refuse
To gife me, nople lady, yoosht de vorst of your oldt shoes!’

“De lady boorst out laughin’, ‘Fool here, or fool me dere,
You give to me a couple, I gives to you a pair.’
Denn she rode avay a-laughin’; de old voman says ‘I wete,
I’ll give you shoes, my lady, dot vill fit your soul and feet!’

“Dis voman vas a vitchè, an bitter one dere to,
All dot vot she had shpoken she light enough could do;
De Ritter did not know it, but he told her of his love,
And how dot shkornful lady hat oopset him mit de shtove.

“Out spoke de grimme witchè, ‘She shall pay dee well to boot,
If yo pring to me de measure of dat lady’s liddle foot.’
He got it from her shoemaker, and gafe id to de vitch,
Denn she gafe it to de damsel pooty soon as hot as pitch.

“Von morn de lofely lady, on openin’ her toor,
Found de nicest pair of gaiter boots she efer saw pefore;
Dey vitted her exoctly – mitouten any doubt-
Boot, mein Gott! how she vas shrocken ven dey ‘gun to valk apout!

“Und ash de poots go valkin’, like de buds go mit de stem,
It vollowed dot de lady had to valk apout in dem.
Dey took her out into de street – dey run her on de road,
Bym-by she saw a man ahead vot led her vhere she goed.

“Vhen he vent valkin’ longsome denn longsome vas her pace,
Vhen he roon like a greyhound she skompered in a race;
He led her o’er de moundains und cross de lonely plain,
Until de evenin’ shadows, ven he took her home again.

“Denn she dink mit hate and fury of dis man she used to skoff,
Und den go at de gaiters – boot she couldn’t pull dem off,
She vork mit all de servants, boot ‘tvasent any use,
Und so she hafe to go to bett – a-shleepin’ in her shoes.