What do these people want?
They knocked in the early morning,
they’re on the landing of the stairs;
when the mother comes to open the door
she has on her dressing gown.
What do these people want
who knock in the early morning?
“Isn’t your son here?”
“He’s asleep in his room.
What do you want with my son?”
The son half wakes up.
The mother knows very little
about all the hopes
of her student son,
who was quite committed.
For several days he’s said little
and every night he’s been restless.
A trembling came on
as he feared a knock at break of dawn.
Still not wide awake,
he hears the loud knock
and he throws himself through the window
onto the street at one go.
Those who knock remain silent,
but one of them, perhaps the one in charge,
leans out through the window.
Behind, the mother screams.
They knocked early in the morning;
the law comes at a certain hour.
Now the student is dead,
he died from a knock at break of dawn.