Category Archives: Johann Peter Hebel

Johann Peter Hebel: “Sunday Morning”




St. Annen Kirche zu Graupen in Bohmen
Adrian Ludwig Richter – 1836


“Well,” Saturday to Sunday said,

“The people now have gone to bed;

All, after toiling through the week,

Right willingly their rest would seek;

Myself can hardly stand alone,

So very weary I have grown.”


His speech was echoed by the bell,

As on his midnight couch he fell;

And Sunday now the watch must keep,

So, rising from his pleasant sleep,

He glides, half-dozing, through the sky,

To tell the world that morn is nigh.


He rubs his eyes – and, none too late,

Knocks aloud at the sun’s bright gate;

She slumbered in her silent hall,

Unprepared for his early call.

Sunday exclaims, “Thy hour is nigh!”

“Well, well,” says she, “I’ll come by and by.”


Gently, on tiptoe, Sunday creeps,

Cheerfully from the stars he peeps,

Mortals are all asleep below,

None in the village hears him go;

Even Chanticleer keeps very still,

For Sunday whispers, t’was his will.


Now the world is awake and bright,

After refreshing sleep all night;

The Sabbath morn in sunlight comes,

Smiling gladly on all our homes.

He has a mild and happy air,

Bright flowers are wreathed about his hair.


He comes, with soft and noiseless tread,

To rouse the sleeper from his bed;

And tenderly he pauses near,

With looks all full of love and cheer,

Well pleased to watch the deep repose,

That linger till the morning rose.


How gaily shines the early dew,

Loading the grass with its silver hue;

And freshly comes the fragrant breeze,

Dancing among the cherry trees;

The bees are humming all so gay,

They know not it is Sabbath day.


The cherry blossoms now appear,

Fair heralds of a fruitful year;

There stands upright the tulip proud,

Bethlehem-stars around her crowd,

And hyacinths of every hue,

All sparking in the morning dew.


How still and lovely all things seem!

Peaceful and pure as an angel’s dream!

No rattling carts are in the streets,

Kindly each one his neighbor greets,

“It promises right fair today.”

Yes, praised be God,” ‘t is all they say.


The birds are singing, “Come behold,

Our Sabbath morn all bathed in gold,

Pouring his calm celestial light

Among the flowers so sweet and bright!”

The pretty goldfinch leads the row,

As if her Sunday robe to show.


Mary, pluck those auriculas, pray,

And don’t shake the yellow dust away!

Here, little Ann, are some for you,

I’m sure you want a nosegay, too!

The first bell rings – away! Away!

We will go to church today!