Heinrich Hoffmann

(13 June 1809 - 20 September 1894 / Frankfurt am Main)

The Cry-Baby - Poem by Heinrich Hoffmann

'Oh, why are you always so bitterly crying?
You surely will make yourself blind.
What reason on earth for such sobbing and sighing,
I pray, can you possibly find?
There is no real sorrow, there's nothing distressing,
To make you thus grieve and lament.
Ah! no; you are just at this moment possessing
Whatever should make you content.


Now do, my dear daughter, give over this weeping,'
Such was a kind mother's advice.
But all was in vain; for you see she's still keeping
Her handkerchief up to her eyes.


But now she removes it, and oh! she discloses
A countenance full of dismay;
For she certainly feels, or at least she supposes
Her eyesight is going away.
She is not mistaken, her sight is departing;
She knows it and sorrows the more;
Then rubs her sore eyes, to relieve them from smarting,
And makes them still worse than before.


And now the poor creature is cautiously crawling
And feeling her way all around;
And now from their sockets her eyeballs are falling;
See, there they are down on the ground.
My children, from such an example take warning,
And happily live while you may;
And say to yourselves, when you rise in the morning,
'I'll try to be cheerful today.'


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012



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