The Wendish Research Exchange

A. 011. Little Katharina

mersiowsky - 3-4-2014 at 11:57 AM

(From Niedergurig)
Translated by Margot Hendricks

In the land Unwürde
There is a great feud,
Could not stay there
No pure virgins.

No pure virgins,
No farmer’s daughter,
Could not live there
No blossoming virgin,

As the only one,
As the daughter of the innkeeper
There in Niedergurig,
Named little Katharine.

When the lord of Unwürde
Heard of it,
He asked to be driven
To the market place in Görlitz.

Ordered to purchase
One roll of linen,
100 ells of velvet,
and white silk.

Ordered to have sewn
A lady’s dress,
And put it on
A lady’s dress.

Ordered to be driven
As an honorable virgin
To Niedergurig
To the home of the inn keeper.

‘Hello, my inn keeper!
Will you give me shelter
For just one night
Me and my horses?’

“Would like to keep you
But don’t have a bed,
Don’t have a bed for you,
No barn for the horses.”

‘Don’t worry about the bed!
Don’t worry about the horses!
The horses can stand
In the middle of the yard.’

‘But I want to lie down
In the dark room
In the dark room
On the hard small bench.’

‘Hide me,
The lord of Unwürde,
The lord of Unwürde,
This evil devil.’

“Should I keep you
During the night in this house,
Should I hide you,
I would have to lock you up

Behind the nine locks
In the 10th room,
There with Katharina
My beautiful daughter.”

When it came to pass
That midnight did arrive,
That midnight did arrive,
She started to scream.

“I am crying out to God complaining
About my father,
About my father,
And the dishonorable man,”

“The dishonorable man,
This mean devil,
Who took my virginity
And my innocence.”

‘Why are you crying, girl?
You have 3 castles here,
Good and strong,
And lots of fields.’

“Forget about the castles,
Castles well built,
Leave behind the fields,
Your large fields.”

“Buy myself castles with gold,
Buy fields with silver,
But virginity I don’t buy
With gold and silver.”

“When I used to arrive,
The people would shout:
‘See! Here comes the virgin,
the daughter of the inn keeper.’

“When I arrive now,
The people will shout:
‘Look! Here comes the lady love
Of the unworthy man.’

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