Onder de titel ‘Songs of faith’ zijn 38 gedichten van Willem de Mérode vertaald naar het Engels. De vertaling is uitgevoerd door 38 gedichten, Hans Osinga ».
Quietly the class is writing,
boys bent over writing-books,
diligent their supple bodies and intent their faces’ looks,
with the girls slate-pencils grating.
Annie must needs turn around towards her mate,
whispers just a moment with Charlotte:
– Say, please will you look at my loose knot,
tie it tighter round my plait?
Carefully Charlotte’s hands
feel the fine blond hair in front of her;
with a look at me, who just winks at her,
she ties firmly Annie’s silk, blue ribbons.
And there go the ticking slate-pencils again,
in the little girls’ hands, moving restlessly,
Then a small joke makes them chuckle stealthily,
make their eyes and cheeks live with fun again.
Wee Will wants to give a pear to Luke;
now he taps, supposing that I do not see,
Lucas, his big comrade, on the knee,
with his little clutches, after some shy looks.
So, by just a laugh, a care-free song,
by a word, quite gently spoken,
is the weighty poise of drab times broken.
Ah! Did I not go to school myself, when I was young?