The Charcoal-Burner’s Son

The Charcoal-Burner’s Son

My father he’s at the kiln away.
My mother sits at her spinning;
But wait, I’ll too be a man someday,
And a sweetheart I’ll be winning.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

At dawn I am up and off with the sun –
Hurrah! When the sun’s a-shimmer,
To father then with his food with me,
And long mountain shadows are thrown there.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

Tralala! As glad as a bird in flight
I’ll sing as the path I follow.
But harsh the reply from the mountain high,
And the woods are heavy and hollow.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

The shadows come down so thick, so thick,
As if curtains were drawn together,
There’s rustle and rattle of stone and stick,
And trolls are walking the heather,
So dark it is far off in the forest.

There’s one! There are two! In their net they’ll take
Me, alas! – how the fires are waving!
They beckon, O God, do not forsake me!
By flight my life I’d be saving,
So dark it is far off in the forest.

The hours went by, the daylight was gone,
The way it grew ever more wild now,
There’s whispering and rustling over stick and over stone
As over the heath runs the child now.
So dark it is far off in the forest.

With rosy-red cheeks and heart beating fast,
To his father’s kiln swiftly fleeing, he fell.
“My dear son, oh, welcome at last!”
Tis trolls, aye, and worse I’ve been seeing.
So dark it is far off in the forest.”

“My son, it is long here I’ve had to dwell,
But my God has preserved me from evil.
Whoever knows his Our Father well
Fears neither for troll nor for devil,
Though dark it is far off in the forest.”

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