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Nixe Binsefuß

Nixe Binsefuß

Des Wassermanns sein Töchterlein
Tanzt auf dem Eis im Vollmondschein,
Sie singt und lachet sonder Scheu
Wohl an des Fischers Haus vorbei.
»Ich bin die Jungfer Binsefuß,
Und meine Fisch' wohl hüten muß,
Meine Fisch' die sind im Kasten,
Sie haben kalte Fasten;
Von Böhmerglas mein Kasten ist,
Da zähl' ich sie zu jeder Frist.
Gelt, Fischermatz? gelt, alter Tropf,
Dir will der Winter nicht in Kopf?
Komm mir mit deinen Netzen!
Die will ich schön zerfetzen!
Dein Mägdlein zwar ist fromm und gut,
Ihr Schatz ein braves Jägerblut.
Drum häng' ich ihr, zum Hochzeitsstrauß,
Ein schilfen Kränzlein vor das Haus,
Und einen Hecht, von Silber schwer,
Er stammt von König Artus her,
Ein Zwergen-Goldschmids-Meisterstück,
Wer's hat, dem bringt es eitel Glück:
Er läßt sich schuppen Jahr für Jahr,
Da sind's fünfhundert Gröschlein baar.
Ade, mein Kind! Ade für heut!
Der Morgenhahn im Dorfe schreit.«

The water-sprite Reedfoot

The water spirit's little daughter
Dances on the ice in the full moon,
Singing and laughing without fear
Past the fisherman's house.
'I am the maiden Reedfoot,
And I must look after my fish;
My fish are in this casket,
Having a cold Lent;
My casket's made of Bohemian glass,
And I count them whenever I can.
Not so, Matt? Not so, foolish old fisherman,
You cannot understand it's winter?
If you come near me with your nets,
I'll tear them all to shreds!
But your little girl is good and devout,
And her sweetheart's an honest huntsman.
That's why I'll hang a wedding bouquet,
A wreath of rushes outside her house,
And a pike of solid silver,
From King Arthur's time,
The masterwork of a dwarf goldsmith,
Which brings its owner the best of luck:
Each year it sheds its scales,
Worth five hundred groschen in cash.
Farewell, child! Farewell for today!
The cock in the villages cries morning.'

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Pauline Viardot was a leading nineteenth-century French mezzo-soprano, pedagogue, and composer of Spanish descent.

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Eduard Friedrich Mörike was a German Romantic poet.

Mörike was born in Ludwigsburg. His father was Karl Friedrich Mörike (d. 1817), a district medical councilor; his mother was Charlotte Bayer. He attended the Latin school at Ludwigsburg, and the seminary at Urach (1818) where he made the acquaintance of Wilhelm Hartlaub and Wilhelm Waiblinger. He then studied theology at the Seminary of Tübingen where he met Ludwig Bauer, David Friedrich Strauss and F. T. Vischer.

He followed an ecclesiastical career, becoming a Lutheran pastor. In 1834 he was appointed pastor of Cleversulzbach near Weinsberg, and, after his early retirement for reasons of health, in 1851 became professor of German literature at the Katharinenstift in Stuttgart. This office he held until his retirement in 1866; but he continued to live in Stuttgart until his death. In what political and social views he espoused, he was monarchist and conservative.

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