Three Songs op. 2

3. Bessie Bobtail

Tekst: Alfred Edward Housman

As down the street she wambled slow,
She had not got a place to go:
She had not got a place to fall
And rest herself—no place at all.
She stumped along and wagged her pate
And said a thing was desperate.

Her face was screwed and wrinkled tight
Just like a nut—and, left and right,
On either side she wagged her head
And said a thing; and what she said
Was desperate as any word
That ever yet a person heard.

I walked behind her for a while
And watched the people nudge and smile.
But ever as she went she said,
As left and right she swung her head,
—“Oh, God He knows,” and “God He knows:”
And surely God Almighty knows.


Mientje Paardestaart


Toen ze traag de straat kwam ingewaggeld
had ze niet eens plek om te lopen:
had ze niet eens plek om te vallen
en behalve zichzelf—helemaal geen plek.
Ze kloste voort en schudde haar hoofd
en zei iets dat wanhopig leek.
[ . . . ]

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