The Blowgun

by Wilhelm Busch

Here sits old Bartelmann a'sipping
His tea, in which a crust he's dipping.

Franz with his blowgun standing near
Hits Bartelmann upon the ear.

Good gracious me, so thinketh he,
From under here it sure must be,

Oh no, thinks he, this cannot be
And dips his pretzel in his tea.

Pop - from this hand the crust is flying,
Old Bartelmann of fright's near dying.

Then at his eye Franz aimed a dart;
Which made it sorely ache and smart.

So that the tears all swiftly ran
Down cheeks of old Bartelmann.

Good gracious me, so thinketh he -.
From up above it sure must be!

Oh no! he falls - for hurry scurry
Franz hits his nose in greatest flurry.

See now he sparkles at the thought;
Behind the fence the rascal's caught.

When Bartelmann the dart espies,
An old acquaintance greets his eyes.

With coffee-pot he now doth gloat
To drive the popgun down Frank's throat!

Take warning hence, you naughty chicks,
On older folks play no more tricks!
Translation by Abby Langdon Alger, 1880

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© 1994-1999 Robert Godwin-Jones
Virginia Commonwealth University