SIE SASSEN AND TRANKEN ... TABLE TALK
Heinrich Heinetrans. David Cram
Sie sassen and tranken am Teetisch
Und sprachen von Liebe viel.
Die Herren, die waren ästhetisch,
Die Damen von zartem Gefühl.

Die Liebe muss sein platonisch,
Der dürre Hofrat sprach.
Die Hofratin lachelt ironisch,
Und dennoch seufzet sie: Ach!

Der Domherr öffnet den Mund weit:
Die Liebe sei nicht zu roh,
Sie schadet sonst der Gesundheit.
Das Fräulein lispelt: wie so?

Die Gräfin spricht wehmütig:
Die Liebe ist eine Passion!
Und präsentiret gütig
Die Tasse dem Herren Baron.

Am Tische war noch ein Plätzchen;
Mein Liebchen, da hast du gefehlt.
Du hättest so hübsch, mein Schätzchen,
Von deiner Liebe erzählt.
They conversed as they sipped their darjeeling,
(About love, as a matter of fact,)
The ladies with some depth of feeling,
And the gents with their usual tact.

'Affairs should be strictly platonic,'
The withered town councillor said;
And the smile from his wife was ironic,
As she wistfully nodded her head.

'Too much of the old rough-and-tumble
Is a health risk,' the major maintained.
The young lady was prompted to mumble
'How exactly ... ?' But no one explained.

The deaconess spoke out forthrightly
On the topic of ecstasy,
And offered the bishop politely
Some more of the excellent tea.

There was one empty place at the table,
And one person, my poppet, too few.
There should have been someone there able
To hold forth on the subject like you.

Published in Oxford Magazine, 1992

Trans. copyright © David Cram 1992


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