Extract from Michael Mitchell's translation

Grimmelshausen's Simplicissimus

Chapter 7   How Simplicius found poor lodgings where he was kindly treated

I do not know what it was that brought me round; what I do know is that when I came to I found that the old man had placed my head on his lap and opened my jerkin. Seeing the hermit so close to me, I set up a hideous screaming, as if he were about to tear the heart out of my body. He said, ‘Be still, my son, I'm not going to hurt you, just be still’, but the more he caressed me and tried to comfort me, the louder I cried out, ‘Oh, you're going to eat me up! You're going to eat me up! You're the wolf, you're going to eat me up!’

‘Indeed I am not, my son’, he said. ‘Just be still, I'm not going to eat you up.’

It was a long time before I had sufficiently calmed down to accept his invitation to go into his hut with him. The wolf did not live in the hut, but the old man obviously had difficulty keeping it from the door since the cupboard was almost always bare. However, a frugal meal of vegetables and a drink of water filled my belly, and the old man's friendly manner soothed my distraught mind, so that I was soon myself again. Now I could no longer hide the fact that I was desperately in need of sleep, and the old man left me alone in the hut, since there was only room for one person to stretch out there. Around midnight I was wakened by the following hymn, which I later learnt myself:

Come, voice of night, o nightingale

And let your song, o'er hill and vale,

Its soothing solace bring.

Now other birds have gone to sleep,

Come, come, your tuneful vigil keep,

Your Maker's praises sing.

And let your voice out loud rejoice.

Of all below

You best can raise a hymn of praise

To Him from whom all blessings flow.