Steinli Von Slang

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DER watchman look out from his tower
Ash de Abendgold glimmer grew dim,
Und saw on de road troo de Gauer
Ten shpearmen coom ridin to him:
Und he schvear: "May I lose my next bitter,
Und denn mit der Teufel go hang!
If id isn't dat pully young Ritter,
De hell-drivin Steinli von Slang.

"De vorldt nefer had any such man,
He vights like a sturm in its wrath:
You may call me a recular Dutchman,
If he arn't like Goliath of Gath.
He ish big ash de shiant O'Brady,
More ash sefen feet high on a string,
Boot he can't vin de hearts of my lady,
De lofely Plectruda von Sling."

De lady make welcome her gast in,
Ash he shtep to de dop of de shtair,
She look like an angel got lost in
A forest of audumn-prown hair.
Und a bower-maiden said ash she tarried:
"I wish I may bust mit a bang!
If id isn't a shame she ain't married
To der her-re-liche Steinli von Slang!"

He pows to de cround fore de lady,
Vhile his vace ish ash pale ash de tead;
Und she vhispers oonto him a rede
Ash mit arrow point accents, she said:
"You hafe long dimes peen dryin to win me,
You hafe vight, and mine braises you sing,
Boot I'm 'fraid dat de notion aint in me,
De Lady Plectruda von Sling.

"Boot brafehood teserves a reward, sir;
Dough you've hardly a chost of a shanse.
Sankt Werolf! medinks id ish hard, sir,
I should allaweil lead you dis dance."
Like a bees vhen it it booz troo de clofer,
Dese murmurin accents she flang,
Vhile singin, a stingin her lofer,
Der woe-moody Ritter von Slang.

"Boot if von ding you do, I'll knock under,
Our droples moost endin damit
Und if you pull troo it,- by donder!
I'll own myself euchred, und bit.
I schvear py de holy Sanct Chlody!
Py mine honor-und avery ding!
You may hafe me-soul, puttons und pody,
Mit de whole of Plectruda von Sling."

"Und dish ish de test of your power:-
Vhile ve shtand ourselfs round in a row,
You moost roll from de dop of dis tower,
Down shdairs to de valley pelow.
Id ish rough and shteep ash my virtue:"
(Mit schwanenshweet accents she sang
"Tont try if you dinks id vill hurt you,
Mine goot liddle Ritter von Slang."

An Moormoor arosed mong de beoples;
In fain tid she doorn in her shkorn,
Der vatchman on dop of de shdeeples
Plowed a sorryfool doon on his horn.
Ash dey look down de dousand-foot treppe,
Dey schveared dey vouldt pass on de ding,
Und not roll down de firstest tam steppe
For a hoondred like Fraulein von Sling.


'Twas audumn. De dry leafs vere bustlin
Und visperin deir elfin wild talk,
Vhen shlow, mit his veet in dem rustlin,
Herr Steinli coomed out for a walk.
Wild dooks vly afar in de gloamin,
He hear a vaint gry vrom de gang;
Und vished he vere off mit dem roamin:
De heart-wounded Ritter Von Slang.

Und ash he vent musin und shbeakin,
He se, shoost ahead in his vay,
In sinkular manner a streakin,
A strange liddle bein, in cray,
Who toorned on him quick mit a holler,
Und cuttin a dwo bigeon ving,
Cried, "Say, can you change me a thaler,
Oh, guest of de Lady von Sling?"

De knight vas a goot-nadured veller,
(De peggars all knowed him at sight,)
So he forked out each groschen und heller,
Dill he fix de finances aright.
Boot shoost ash de liddle man vent, he,
(Der Ritter,) ashtonished cried "Dang!"
For id vasn't von thaler boot tventy,
He'd passed on der Ritter von Slang.

O reater! Soopose soosh a vlight in
De vingers of me, or of you,
How we'd toorned on our heels, und gon kitin
Dill no von vos left to pursue!
Good Lort! how we'd froze to de ready!
Boot mit him 'dvas a different ding;
For he vent on de high, moral steady,
Dis lofer of Fraulein von Sling.

Und dough no von vill gife any gredit
To dis part of mine dale, shdill id's drue,
He drafelled ash if he vould dead it,
Dis liddle oldt man to pursue.
Und loudly he after him hollers,
Till de vales mit de cliffers loud rang:
"You hafe gifed me nine-ten too moosh dollars,
Hold Hard!" cried der Ritter von Slang.

De oldt man ope his eyes like a casement,
Und laid a cold hand on his prow,
Denn mutter in ootmosdt amazement,
"Vot manner of mordal art dou?
I hafe lifed in dis world a yar tausend,
Und nefer yed met soosh a ding!
Yet you find it hart vork to pe spouse, and
Peloved by de Lady von Sling!

"Und she vant you to roll from de tower
Down shteps to yon rifulet spot."
(Here de knight, whom amazement o'erbower,
Cried, "Himmels potz pumpen Herr Gott!")
Boot de oldt veller saidt: "I'll arrange it,
Let your droples und sorrows co hang!
Und nodings vill coom to derange it-
Pet high on it, Ritter von Slang.

"So get oop dis small oonderstandin,
Dat to-morrow by ten, do you hear?
You'll pe mit your trunk at de landin;
I'll also be dere-nefer fear!
Und I dinks we shall make your young voman
A new kind of meloty sing;
Dat vain, wicked, cruel, unhuman,
Gott-tamnaple Fraulein von Sling."

De fiolet shdars vere apofe him,
Vhite moths und vhite dofes shimmered round,
All nature seemed seekin to lofe him,
Mit perfume und vision und sound.
De liddle oldt veller hat fanished,
In a harp-like, melotious twang;
Und mit him all sorrow vas panished
Afay from der Steinli von Slang.


Id vas morn, und de vorldt hat assempled
Mid panners und lances und dust,
Boot de heart of de Paroness trempled,
Und ofden her folly she cussed.
For she found dat der Ritter vould do it,
Und "die or get into de Ring,"
Und denn she'd pe cerdain to rue it,
Aldough she vas Lady von Sling.

For no man in Deutschland stood higher
Dan he mit de Minnesing crew,
He vas friendet to Heini von Steier,
Und Wolfram von Eschenbach too.
Und she dinked ash she look from de vinders,
How herzlich his braises dey sang;
"Now dey'll knock my goot name indo flinders,
For killin der Ritter von Slang."

Boot oh! der goot knight had a Schauer,
Und felt most ongommonly queer,
Vhen he find on de top of de dower
De goblum, pesite him, abbear.
Denn he find he no more could go valkin,
Und shtood, shoost and potrified ding,
Vhile de goblum vent round about talkin,
Und chaffin Plectruda von Sling.

Denn at vonce he see indo de problum,
Und vas stoggered like rats at ids vim:
His soul had gone indo de goblum,
Und de goblum's hat gone indo him.
Und de eyes of de volk vas enchanted,
Dere vas "glamour" oopon de whole gang;
For dey dinked dat dis veller who ranted
So loose, vas der Ritter von Slang.

Und, Lordt! how he dalked! Oonder heafens
Dere vas nefer soosh derriple witz,
Knockin all dings to sechses and sefens,
Und gifin Plectruda, Dutch fits.
Mein Gott! how he poonished und chaffed her
Like a hell-stingin, devil-born ding;
Vhile de volk lay a-rollin mit laughter
At Fraulein Plectruda von Sling.

De lady grew angry und paler,
De lady grew ratful und red,
She felt some Satanical jailer
Hafe brisoned de tongue in her head.
She moost laugh vhen she vant to pe cryin,
Und vas crushed mit de teufelisch clang,
Till she knelt herself, pooty near dyin,
To dis derriple image of Slang.

Denn der goblum shoomp oop to der ceiling
Und trow sommerseds round on de vloor,
Right ofer Plectruda a-kneelin,
Dill she look more a vool dan pefore.
Denn he roll down de shteps light und breezy,
His laughs made it all apout ring;
Ash he shveared dere vas noding more easy
Dan to win a Plectruda von Sling.

Und vhen he cot down to de pottom,
He laugh so to freezen your plood;
Und schwear dat de boomps ash he cot em
Hafe make him feel petter ash good.
Boot, oh! how dey shook at his power,
Vhen he toorned himself roundt mit a bang,
Und roll oop to de dop of de tower,
To change forms mit de oder Von Slang!

Denn all in an insdand vas altered,
Der Steinli vas coom to himself;
Und de sprite, vitch in double sense paltered,
From dat moment acain vas an elf.
Dey shdill dinked dat he vas de person
Who had bobbed oop and down on de ving,
Und knew not who 'tvas lay de curse on
De peaudiful Lady von Sling.

Nun-endlich- Plectruda repented,
Und gazed on der Ritter mit shoy;
In dime to pe married consented,
Und vas plessed mit a peautifool poy.
A dwenty gold biece on his bosom
Vhen geporn vas tiscofered to hang
Mit de inscript-"Dis dime dont refuse em"-
So endet de tale of Von Slang.

© Charles Godfrey Leland