The True Story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin

Timothy Adés

by Bertolt Brecht 1898-1956
                                                     
The pied piper of Hamelin
He piped all round the town
Bewitched the thousand children
And led them up and down.
    He piped long. He piped pretty.
    Lovely sound for town and city.
 
The pied piper of Hamelin
He thought it best to raise
The young not in this town
But another, better place.
    He piped long. He piped pretty.
    Lovely sound for town and city.
 
Oh pied piper of Hamelin
Where are they being taken?
Because the children’s little hearts
Are deeply shocked and shaken.
    He piped long. He piped pretty
    Lovely sound for town and city.
 
The pied piper of Hamelin
Had left the town behind
Did his own piping spook him
And take away his mind?
    I pipe long. I pipe pretty.
    Lovely sound for town and city.
 
The pied piper of Hamelin
Went right round the hill
Blundered back into Hamelin
They talk about him still.
    He piped long. He piped pretty.
    All too lovely more’s the pity.
 
The pied piper of Hamelin
In the market square is dangling
You may hear the voices jangling
On and on about his piping.
    He piped long. He piped pretty.
    Lovely sound for town and city.

Translated by Timothy Adès.

Compare the better-known poem about the Pied Piper by the English poet Robert Browning.

 

You can find many other works translated by Timothy Adès at his website: www.timothyades.com .


Main Location:

Hamelin, Germany


Other locations:

View of Hamelin, on the Weser in Lower Saxony, Germany