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Ich weiß nicht, was da noch werden soll?

Language: German (Deutsch)

Ich weiß nicht, was da noch werden soll?
Schon dämmert's im feuchten Grunde,
Die Fledermaus macht ahnungsvoll
Um den alten Stadtwall die Runde,
Am Scherbenberg wird's öd und still,
Ich glaub', die alte Wirthin will
  Bereits die Schenke verschließen.

Ein Käuzlein hör' ich drüben schrei'n,
Wo die Grabcypressen trauern,
Campagnanebel ziehen herein,
Verhüllt steh'n Thor und Mauern;
Es wogt und wallt wie ein Geisterheer
Um Cestius Pyramide her,
  Was mögen die Todten wollen?

Jetzt zuckt und flammt um den Berg ein Licht,
Die grauen Wolken verfliegen;
Es kommt mit neidisch gelbem Gesicht
Der Vollmond aufgestiegen.
Er scheint so grell, er scheint so fahl,
Er scheint mir mitten in Weinpokal,
  Das kann nichts Gutes bedeuten.

Und wer von der Liebsten scheiden gemüßt,
Dem wird sie nur um so lieber,
Und wer zu lang in der Nachtluft sitzt,
Bekommt in Rom das Fieber.
Schon löscht die Wirthin die Lampen aus --
Felice notte! ich geh' nach Haus,
  Die Zeche bezahl' ich morgen.

Translation(s): ENG

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About the headline (FAQ)

Information about Monte Testaccio can be found at Wikipedia

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2010-09-30.
Last modified: 2017-06-02 15:16:56
Line count: 28
Word count: 159

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I know not what shall still happen?

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

I know not what shall still happen?
There is twilight already in the damp vale,
And ominously the bats fly
Around the old city wall;
At the mound of shards it becomes desolate and still,
I believe that the old hostess already
 Wishes to close the tavern.

I hear an owlet screaming over yonder
Where the cypresses mourn on the tombs,
Mists from the Campagna waft in,
The gate and walls stand shrouded;
There is a surging and swelling as of a legion of ghosts
About the Pyramid of Cestius,
 What might the dead want?

Now a light flickers and flames about the mountain,
The grey clouds scatter;
With a jealous, yellow face
The full moon rises.
It shines so garishly, it shines so wanly,
It shines right into the middle of my wine glass;
 That cannot portend anything good.

And he who was forced to part from his beloved,
To him she only becomes dearer,
And he who sits about too long in the night air
In Rome, gets a fever.
The hostess is already extinguishing the lamps --
Good night!  I'm going home,
 I'll pay the bill tomorrow.

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About the headline (FAQ)

Translated titles:
"Monte Testaccio" = "Monte Testaccio"
"Ich weiss nicht, was da noch werden soll" = "I know not what shall still happen"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2013 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on


Text added to the website: 2013-10-31.
Last modified: 2016-06-28 10:04:12
Line count: 28
Word count: 189