St. Nicholas

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 St. Nicholas Poems from Germany

adapted for English and illustrated by Resi Schwarzbauer

German children traditionally learn a poem to recite when St. Nicholas comes to visit. Here are some

Im Fenstereck im Mondenschein
da stell ich meinen Stiefel rein.
Nikolaus, vergiss mich nicht,
tu was rein, dann freu ich mich.
Äpfel, Nüsse, süßer Kram,
alles das mich freuen kann.
On the window sill in the moon light,
I placed my boots shining bright.
Don't forget us please Saint Nicholas
and place something in these boots for us,
Apples nuts and those sweet things,
That so much joy to us will bring.

or

I polished my boots really bright
And placed them on the sill last night.
Now I can't wait to go and see
What St. Nick has left for me.
Nuts and treats and so much more
And all the sweet things I adore.
Nikolaus, Nikolaus, huckepack,
schenk uns was aus deinem Sack.
Schüttel deinen Sack gut aus,
brave Kinder sind im Haus.
Nicholas, Nicholas, what's on your back?
Are there lots of presents in your sack?
Then shake your sack and tip it out
As well behaved children are about.
Wer kommt den da geritten?
Herr Wude Wude Nikolaus,
laß mich nicht lange bitten,
und schüttel deinen Beutel au
Spruch aus Norddeutschland.
Whose that riding on his horse,
It's dear Saint Nicholas, of course,
Let's hope we don't have long to wait
Till he gives that sack a thorough shake.
                          —from North Germany 
Wo die Kinder folgen gern,
da bring ich Nuß und Mandelkern,
Äpfel, Birnen, Hutzeln und Schnitz
für den Hansl und Heiner,
für den Franzl und den Fritz.
Where the children listen to what parents say,
Lots of good and sweet things come their way.
There will be surprises for Susan and Ken
John, Michael, Emma, Lucy and Ben.
                    —from South Germany 
Nikolaus, komm in unser Haus,
Schütt dein goldig Säcklein aus,
Stell den Esel an den Mist,
daß er Heu und Hafer frißt.
St. Nick, come to our home
And shake your sack of gold,
Feed your donkey oats and hay
To ensure he does not stray.
                                —from Hesse 
Nikolaus, du frommer Mann,
komm mit deinem Schimmel an
und dem schwarzen Piet.
Alles, was man wünschen kann,
Spielzeug, Kuchen, Marzipan,
bring uns bitte mit.
Haben wir nicht recht getan,
so verzeih uns, heiliger mann,
Schimmelchen und Piet.
Saint Nicholas you holy man,
Come to us whenever you can,
Come riding on your horse so white,
With sweets that bring such delight.
Please come to our house all alone,
Be sure to leave Black Pete at home,
If we've not behaved as we should,
Please give us a chance to be good.
                          —from Westphalia 
Ruprecht, Ruprecht, guter Gast
Hast du mir was mitgebracht?
Hast du was, dann setz dich nieder,
Hast du nichts, dann geh nur wieder
Rupert, Rupert, hear my plea
Bring something nice for me?
If you have a treat, come and stay
If you don't, then please away.
                               —from folklore 
Sankt Niklaus ist ein braver Mann,
bringt kleinen Kindern, was er kann.
Die großen läßt er laufen,
die können sich was kaufen.
Saint Nicholas is a wonderful man,
gives to small children what he can,
For the big children he does not stop,
they can buy their presents at the shop.
Lieber Nikolaus Komm in unser Haus,
laß die Rut nicht raus, pack die Taschen aus!
Alle Kinder essen gern, Äpfel, Nüsse, Mandelkern.
Nicholas please come to our home,
Leave your heavy rod alone
Empty your pockets of those treats
That all children like to eat.

From Festivals and Celebrations by Resi Schwarzbauer. Copyright © Resi Schwarzbauer, used by permission.

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