Hidden and hardly noticed, this little poem suddenly drew my attention when I was at random looking through my copy of the Carmine Burana. It still lay next to my pc, as I used it for my previous post. Putting books back to their place on the shelves is not a regular habit of me, with – I must admit – the result that piles of books are around my computer.
This poem immediately reminded me of a poem by the German poetess Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830 - 1916):
Ein kleines Lied
Ein kleines Lied! Wie geht's nur an,
Daß man so lieb es haben kann,
Was liegt darin? erzähle!
Es liegt darin ein wenig Klang,
Ein wenig Wohllaut und Gesang
Und eine ganze Seele.
This poem is about how even a little song can have a world of feelings behind the few words and the poem from the Carmina Burana has in all its simplicity such a charm. It is about a shepherdess who early in the morning is out with her flock of male and female animals. Then she sees a student siting on the grass and says: `What are you doing? Come and play with me!’ I hope the student has put his books aside and both of them had a nice day together!
Carmina Burana 90
cum grege, cum baculo,
cum lana novella.
Sunt in grege parvulo
ovis et asella,
vitula cum vitulo,
caper et capella.
Conspexit in cespite
«quid tu facis, domine?
veni mecum ludere!»
rusticus: rural, rustic, country-
grex grecis (m.): flock
lana novella: new wool, i.e. a new woollen skirt
asella: small she-ass
vitula, vitulus: female calf, male calf
caper, capella: male goat, female goat
caespes –itis (m.): turf, grass