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Cała Polonia czyta dzieciom
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Die Lokomotive

Die grosse Lok ist heiss,
ihr Öl tropft auf das Gleis,
und Öl ist, wie man weiss,

Der Heizer, der füllt ihr mit Kohle den Bauch,
drum keucht sie und jammert und stöhnt unterm Rauch:
"UCH ist das heiss!
HUK soviel Schweiss!
PUH welche Glut!
DAS tut nicht gut!"

Kaum kann sie schnaufen, kaum sich noch mucken:
Immer mehr Kohlen muss sie verschlucken.
Und so viel Wagen stehn auf den Gleisen,
grosse und schwere, aus Stahl und aus Eisen.

Die soll sie schleppen. Je, welche Mühe!
Im einen sind Pferde, im andern sind Kühe.
Im dritten sind Männer, sehr dick und sehr rund,
die futtern dort Würste, fast viereinhalb Pfund.
Im vierten Waggon stehn sechs grosse Klaviere.
Im fünften sind wilde und seltene Tiere:
Ein Bär, zwei Giraffen und ein Elefant,
im sechsten, da werden Bananen versandt.
Im siebten sind eichene Tische und Schränke,
im achten gar eine Kanone - man denke!
Im neunten sind Schweine, die fett sind vom Mästen,
im zehnten nur Koffer und Kisten und Kästen.
Und dabei gibt´s vierzig solch riesiger Wagen,
was da alles drin ist, das kann ich nicht sagen!
Und kämen selbst tausend der stärksten Athleten,
und schmausten sie jeder wohl tausend Pasteten,
und würden sie noch so viel Mühe sich geben:
Sie könnten die Lok mit den Wagen nicht heben!

Plötzlich - tschuff,
plötzlich - puff,
da staunt jeder:
Roll´n die Räder!

Erst ging es langsam, schildkrötenlangsam,
bis die Maschine allmählich in Gang kam.
Mühselig zieht sie mit Schnaufen und Grollen,
aber die Räder, die Räder, sie rollen.

Und nun geht es fort mit Getös und Gebraus
und rattert und tattert und schnattert und knattert.
Wohin denn? Wohin denn? Wohin denn? Gradaus!
Auf Schienen, auf Schienen, auf Brücken, durch Felder,
durch Berge, durch Tunnel durch Wiesen, ddurch Wälder.

Die Räder, sie plappern ihr Sprüchlein (ihr wisst es):
"So ist es, so ist es, so ist es, so ist es!"
Sie rollen, sie tollen durch Hügel und Tal,
als wär die Maschine kein Dampfross aus Stahl,
als wär sie, als wär sie - potz Schwefel und Pech -
was Kleines, was Feines, ein Spielzeug aus Blech.
Warum nur, wieso nur, weshalb nur so flink?
Wer treibt denn, wer treibt denn, wer treibt denn das Ding?
Wer macht dies Gestöhn und Geschnauf und Gestampf?
Der Dampf, liebe Leute, der zischende Dampf!
Der Dampf aus dem Kessel, (das weiss ja ein jeder)
der Dampf treibt die Kolben, die Kolben die Räder,
die Räder, sie treiben die schwere massive,
die keuchende eiserne Lokomotive.
Und immer plappern die Räder (ihr wisst es):
"So ist es, so ist es, so ist es, so ist es!"

The Locomotive

A big locomotive has pulled into town,
Heavy, humungus, with sweat rolling down,
A plump jumbo olive.
Huffing and puffing and panting and smelly,
Fire belches forth from her fat cast iron belly.

Poof, how she's burning,
Oof, how she's boiling,
Puff, how she's churning,
Huff, how she's toiling.
She's fully exhausted and all out of breath,
Yet the coalman continues to stoke her to death.

Numerous wagons she tugs down the track:
Iron and steel monsters hitched up to her back,
All filled with people and other things too:
The first carries cattle, then horses not few;
The third car with corpulent people is filled,
Eating fat frankfurters all freshly grilled.
The fourth car is packed to the hilt with bananas,
The fifth has a cargo of six grand pi-an-as.
The sixth wagon carries a cannon of steel,
With heavy iron girders beneath every wheel.
The seventh has tables, oak cupboards with plates,
While an elephant, bear, two giraffes fill the eighth.
The ninth contains nothing but well-fattened swine,
In the tenth: bags and boxes, now isn't that fine?

There must be at least forty cars in a row,
And what they all carry -- I simply don't know:

But if one thousand athletes, with muscles of steel,
Each ate one thousand cutlets in one giant meal,
And each one exerted as much as he could,
They'd never quite manage to lift such a load.

First a toot!
Then a hoot!
Steam is churning,
Wheels are turning!

More slowly - than turtles - with freight - on their - backs,
The drowsy - steam engine - sets off - down the tracks.
She chugs and she tugs at her wagons with strain,
As wheel after wheel slowly turns on the train.
She doubles her effort and quickens her pace,
And rambles and scrambles to keep up the race.
Oh whither, oh whither? go forward at will,
And chug along over the bridge, up the hill,
Through mountains and tunnels and meadows and woods,
Now hurry, now hurry, deliver your goods.
Keep up your tempo, now push along, push along,
Chug along, tug along, tug along, chug along
Lightly and sprightly she carries her freight
Like a ping-pong ball bouncing without any weight,
Not heavy equipment exhausted to death,
But a little tin toy, just a light puff of breath.
Oh whither, oh whither, you'll tell me, I trust,
What is it, what is it that gives you your thrust?
What gives you momentum to roll down the track?
It's hot steam that gives me my clickety-clack.
Hot steam from the boiler through tubes to the pistons,
The pistons then push at the wheels from short distance,
They drive and they push, and the train starts a-swooshin'
'Cuz steam on the pistons keeps pushin' and pushin';
The wheels start a rattlin', clatterin', chatterin'
Chug along, tug along, chug along, tug along! . . . .

Twardowski's Wife

Eating, drinking, smoking, laughter,
Reverly and wild to-do -
They shake the inn from floor to rafter
With huzzahing and halloo.

There Twardowski heads the table,
Arms akimbo, pasha-wise, And he shouts,
"Show what you're able"
Jokes and tricks and terrifies.

Round a soldier playing bully,
Scolding, shoving lustily,
Hums his sword-blade - and a woolly
Rabbit in his place they see!

At a lawyer sitting drinking
Quietly his bowl of grog
He has set his wallat clinking -
And the lawyer is a dog!

To a tailor's forehead clapping
Three long tubes, he smacks his nose
Thrice, and at his sudden tapping,
Out the Danzig vodka flows.

He had drained his cup already
When the tankard gave a hum
And a clank. "The devil!" said he,
"Well,my friend, why have you come?"

In the cup a little devil
Of a bob-tailed German brand,
Greeted all the guests, most civil,
Bowing, prancing, hat in hand.

Then from out the tankard jumping
To the flow, two ells he grows:
Claws like hawk's, a hooked nose,
On one hen's foot, so he goes.

"Ah, Twardowski, brother, greeting!"
Says he boldly, at his ease:
"Did you not expect this meeting?
I am Mephistopheles.

0n Bald Mountain not so lately
You bequeathed to me your soul.
Wrote your name down accurately
On a bull's hide for a scroll.

"All my friends were at your orders:
You, when two years" time had flown,
Were to come to Rome. My warders
Then should take you for their own.

Seven years you've spent tormenting
Hell with magic, nor do you
Plan your journey yet, frequenting
Inns, although your bond is due.

Vengeance, though you count upon her
Being late, at last strikes home,
And I now arrest Your Honor -
For this inn is named The Rome,

At this dictum so acerbum
Twardowski fled, but as he ran
The devil cought him. "Where's your verbum
Nobile", he said, "my man?"

What was to be done? A moment
Till he forfeited his head!
Swiftly then Twardowski reckoned
On a scheme to serve his stead.

"Read, Mepfiisto, the condition
Of the contract on your scroll;
When the time of my perdition
Comes and you demand my soul",

"I am still to have one little
Right: to set a threefold task:
You must do each jot and tittle
Of whatever I may ask."

"See the tavern sign, a stallion
Painted on a canvas ground:
Let me jump on the rapscallion,
Break away, and gallop round."

"Twist a whip of sand, moreover,
For me, and upon the brink
Of the wood build me a cover
Where I may find food and drink."

"Make the walls of nutshells matching
The Carpathians in height;
Out of Jews' beards make the thatching
And pack popy seed on tight."

"Look, here is a nail for measure,
One inch through, three inches long:
With three spikes, such is my pleasure
Nail each seed down, stout and strong."

Jumping high for joy, Mephisto
Waters, feeds and grooms the horse;
Turns a whip of sand, and presto!
It stands ready for the course.

Then Twardowski mounts the racer,
Makes it trot and caracole;
And the building was no facer -
There it stood, complete and whole!

"WelI, you've won that bout, Sir Devil!
Here's the second; do your best!
Jump in holy water, level
With your neck; the bowl's been biest."

Coughing, spitting, ever faster
Sweats the devil at this check:
But the servant minds the master,
Plunges in up Co his neck.

Out he flew as if projected
From a sling, and, snorting wrath,
Screamed: "Now you're our own elected!
Brr! But what a vapour bath!"

- "One more task before you get me-
Even magic has an end -
Here's Madame Twardowski: Let me
Introduce my little friend.

"For a year I'll make my dwelling
With Beelzebub. Above
You shall pass the year in spelling
Me as husband with my love."

"Swear her love and recognition
And obedience unalloyed;
Fail in only one condition,
And our contract's null and void."

One ear to Twardowski bending,
One eye on his wife, but more
Feigning than in fact attending,
Satan seeks to reach the door.

While Twardowski taunts and teases
And attempts to bar his way,
Through the keyhole, out he squeezes
And is running yet, they say.

The Three Brothers Budrys

Doughty Budrys the old, Lithuanian bold,
He has summoned his lusty sons three.
"Your chargers stand idle, now saddle and bridle
And out with your broadswords," quoth he.

"For with trumpets' loud braying in Wilno they're saying
That our crmies set forth to three goals;
Gallant Olgierd takes Russia and Kiejstut takes Prussia
And Scirgiell - our neighbours the Poles,

"Stout of heart and of hand, go, fight for your land
With the gods of your fathers to guide you;
Though I mount not this year, yet my rede ye shall hear:
Ye are three and three roads ye shall ride you.

"By Lake Ilmen's broad shores where fair Novgorod lowers
One shall follow 'neath Olgierd's device:
There are sables' black tails there are silvery veils,
There are coins shining brightly like ice,

"With Kiejstut's hordes ample the next son shall trample
That dog's breed, the Knights of the Cross;
There he amber thick-strown, vestments diamond-sown,
And brocades al a marvellous gloss,

"In the barren, stripped land beyond Niemen's wide strand
Where goes Skirgiell, the third son shall ride;
Only buckler and sword will he get as reward,
But from there he shall bring him his bride.

"For 'tis Poland the world over that's the land lor a lover:
All the maids are like kittens at play;
Faces whiter than milk, lashes soft as black silk,
And their eyes - like the star-shine are they!

Fifty years are now sped and my bride is long dead,
The bright Pole I brought home from a raid:
And yet still when I stand and gaze out toward that land,
I remenber the face of that maid."

So he ends and they turn, he has blessed them their journey:
They've armed them, they've mounted and fled:
Fall and winter both pass, never word comes, alas,
And old Budrys had thought his sons dead.

Through the high-piling drift comes a youth riding swift,
'Neath his mantle rich booty doth hide:
"Ah, a Novgorod kettle full of silver-bright metal!"
- "Nay, my father, a Polish bride!"

Through the high-piling drift comes a youth riding swill,
'Neath his mantle rich booty doth hide:
"Ah, amber, my son, in the German land won'"
- "Nay, my father, a Polish bride!"

Through the high-piling drift rides the third. Ah, his gift,
'Tis the pride of the west and the east!
But while yet it is hidden, old Budrys has bidden
His guests to the third wedding feast.

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