Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck


(Originally published in the April 8, 1981 issue of
The Shopping News)

Zum Hund
By Paul B. Horning

Es is gsaat as Mann sei beschder Freind

Is en ehrlicher, wachtsamer, gedreier Hund;

Un es scheint zu mir as sell is waar -

Es kummt ken Unart aus em Hund seim Mund.

 

In der Schrift kann mer lese

Wie der aarm Lazarus waar hungerich un verwund.

Der reich Mann hot him ken Hilf gewwe,

Awwer sei Wunde waare gschleckt bei der Hund.

 

Un wie Yudas sei Heiland bedroge hot

Bedriegt en Hund sei Meeschder net.

Petrus hot sei Heiland dreimol verleegelt:

En Hund bleibt gedrei bis an der Zett.

 

Der Dichter hot gschriwwe vom “Gelert,”

Em Llewellyn sei Hund as in der Not

Seim Meeschder sei Sohn zu erredde,

Hot en reissender Wolf gfochde zum Dood.

 

Iwwer die unsicher Schtrooss in der Schtadt

Fiehrt en geduldicher Hund en blinder Mann,

Darich all des Gezacker, Gedunner un Gfaahr,

So gedrei un achtsam as mer denke kann.

 

Odder nemm acht wie der grooss St. Bernard

Hilf un Middel bringt zum Widderschteh

Zu soddiche as ihre Weg verlore hen

In der hoche Barige un im diefe Schnee.

 

Am Owed legt Mann sich hie zu schlofe,

Ken Sarye odder Angscht die ganz Nacht,

Verlosst sich uff sei gedreier Hund

Immer achtsam un wacker uff der Wacht!

 

Un so is es wann die Grankheit kummt:

Do leit der Hund, ee Aag uff es anner zu,

Schmunselt mit seim freindliche Schwanz,

Wunnert was kann ich fer dich duh?

 

Wann am letschde es Lewe zum Schluss kummt,

Em Mann sei Kareber unnich sex Fuuss Schtaab,

Datt wacht der Hund iwwer sei Freind,

Leit mit niedriche Hoffning uff em Graab.

 

To The Dog

It is said that man’s best friend

Is an honest, watchful, loyal dog;

And it seems to me that this is true:

No naughtiness comes from a dog’s mouth.

 

In the Bible one can read

How poor Lazarus was hungry and in pain;

The rich man gave him no help,

But the dogs licked his sores.

 

And as Judas betrayed his savior,

No dog betrays his master.

Peter denied his savior three times,

A dog remains faithful to the end.

 

The poet wrote about “Gelert,”

Llewellyn’s dog, which in a time of trouble

Saved his master’s son,

And fought an attacking wolf to the death.

 

Across the uncertain street in the city

A patient dog leads a blind man,

Through all the bustle, noise and danger,

As loyally and careful as one can imagine.

 

Or notice how the great St. Bernard

Help and necessities brings to the rescue,

To such who have lost their way

In the high mountains and in deep snow.

 

Evenings one lies down to sleep,

No trouble or fear the entire night,

Trusting in ones faithful dog,

Always watchful and awake on guard.

 

And thus it is when sickness comes:

Here the dog lies, one eye open, the other closed,

Smiles with his friendly tail,

Wondering what can I do for you?

 

When at last life comes to an end,

Man’s body under six feet of dust,

There the dog guards his friend,

Lies with faint hope on the grave.

***

Last March 3 “der alt Paul” sent us his latest opus, Zum Hund. Paul wrote in part: “Der Winder is so zimmlich verbei un es schtreckt alligebott en naddlicher Freind sei Kopp zu der Dier rei. Sie sin awwer gewiss willkumm. Es gebt mir Geleyeheit fer unser liewe Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Schprooch schwetze!... Ich zehl eens vun denne Daage noch Ben White Raceway geh an Orlando, wu die Leit ihre Geil exerziere in der Sulkies fer den Summer Reese. Datt sin viel Trotters un Basser, un do gleich ich zugucke. Hab aa ee Sohn, drei Kinskinner un vier Grosskinskinner in Orlando.”

Paul’s address for anyone who might like to write him a word of thanks for all the wonderful poems he’s been sharing with us, is: 1137 Fifteenth Street, North, St. Petersburg, Florida 33705.

We are certain that all our Dutch dog lovers in northeastern Lancaster County will welcome and appreciate Zum Hund. We are deeply stirred by the lovely gifts that continue to flow from the pen and the paint brush of “der alt Paul” at a stage in life when many others appear to be drained and empty. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Es Bischli-Gnippli

 
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