O what must it have cost the angels
not suddenly to burst into song, as one bursts into tears,
since indeed they knew: on this night the mother is being
born to the boy, the One, who shall soon appear.
Soaring they held themselves silent and showed the direction
where, alone, Joachim’s farm lay;
ah, they felt in themselves and in space the pure precipitation,
but none might go down to him.
For the two were already quite beside themselves with ado.
A neighbor-woman came and played wise and did not know how,
and the old man, carefully, went and withheld the mooing
Of a dark cow. For so it had never yet been.
– Translated from the German by M.D. Herter Norton