Romantic Journey

A poem by Alfred Lichtenstein

Thousands of stars twinkle in the gentle sky.
The landscape glows. From the distant meadow
Mute marching men slowly come closer.
Only once a young Lieutenant, a page boy in love,
Steps out - and stands lost in thought.
The baggage train waddles along at the rear.
The moon makes everything much stranger.
And now and then the drivers cry out:
Stop!
High up on the shakiest munitions truck,
Like a little toad, finely chiseled
Out of black wood, hands gently clenched,
On his back the rifle, gently buckled,
A smoking cigar in his crooked mouth,
Lazy as a monk, needy as a dog
- He had pressed drops of valerian on his heart -
In the yellow moon, ridiculously mad,
Kuno sits.

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