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Klage der Ceres

Language: German (Deutsch)

Ist der holde Lenz erschienen?
Hat die Erde sich verjüngt?
Die besonnten Hügel grünen,
Und des Eises Rinde springt.
Aus der Ströme blauem Spiegel
Lacht der unbewölkte Zeus,
Milder wehen Zephyrs Flügel,
Augen treibt das junge Reis.
In dem Hayn erwachen Lieder,
Und die Oreade spricht:
Deine Blumen kehren wieder,
Deine Tochter kehret nicht.

Ach! wie lang' ist's, daß ich walle
Suchend durch der Erde Flur,
Titan, [deine]1 Strahlen alle
Sandt' ich nach der theuren Spur,
Keiner hat mir noch verkündet
Von dem lieben Angesicht,
Und der Tag, der alles findet,
Die Verlorne fand er nicht.
Hast du Zeus! sie mir entrissen,
Hat, von ihrem Reiz gerührt,
Zu des Orkus schwarzen Flüssen
Pluto sie hinabgeführt?

Wer wird nach dem düstern Strande
Meines Grames Bote seyn?
Ewig stößt der Kahn vom Lande,
Doch nur Schatten nimmt er ein.
Jedem sel'gen Aug' verschlossen
Bleibt das nächtliche Gefild',
Und so lang der Styx geflossen,
Trug er kein lebendig Bild.
Nieder führen tausend Steige,
Keiner führt zum Tag zurück,
Ihre [Thränen]2 bringt kein Zeuge
Vor der bangen Mutter Blick.

Mütter, die aus Pyrrhas Stamme
Sterbliche gebohren sind,
Dürfen durch des Grabes Flamme
Folgen dem geliebten Kind,
Nur was Jovis Haus bewohnet,
Nahet nicht dem dunkeln Strand,
Nur die Seligen verschonet,
Parzen, eure strenge Hand.
Stürzt mich in die Nacht der Nächte
Aus des Himmels goldnem Saal,
Ehret nicht der Göttinn Rechte,
Ach! sie sind der Mutter Qual!

Wo sie mit dem finstern Gatten
Freudlos thronet, stieg ich hin,
[Träte]3 mit den leisen Schatten
Leise vor die Herrscherinn.
Ach ihr Auge, [feucht]4 von Zähren,
Sucht umsonst das goldne Licht,
Irret nach entfernten Sphären,
Auf die Mutter fällt es nicht,
Bis die Freude sie entdecket,
Bis sich Brust mit Brust vereint,
Und zum Mitgefühl erwecket,
Selbst der rauhe Orkus weint.

Eitler Wunsch! Verlorne Klagen!
Ruhig in dem gleichen [Gleis]5
Rollt des Tages sichrer Wagen,
[Ewig steht der Schluß des Zeus)6.
Weg von jenen Finsternissen
Wandt er sein beglücktes Haupt,
Einmal in die Nacht gerissen,
Bleibt sie ewig mir geraubt,
Bis des dunkeln Stromes Welle
Von Aurorens Farben glüht,
Iris mitten durch die Hölle
Ihren schönen Bogen zieht.

Ist mir nichts von ihr geblieben,
Nicht ein süß erinnernd Pfand,
Daß die Fernen sich noch lieben,
Keine Spur [der theuren]7 Hand?
Knüpfet sich kein Liebesknoten
Zwischen Kind und Mutter an?
Zwischen Lebenden und Todten
Ist kein Bündniß aufgethan?
Nein! Nicht ganz ist sie [entflohen]8,
[Nein!]9 Wir sind nicht ganz getrennt!
Haben uns die ewig Hohen
Eine Sprache doch vergönnt!

Wenn des Frühlings Kinder sterben,
Wenn von Nordes kaltem Hauch
Blatt und Blume sich entfärben,
Traurig steht der nackte Strauch,
Nehm ich mir das höchste Leben
Aus Vertumnus reichem Horn,
Opfernd es dem Styx zu geben,
Mir des Saamens goldnes Korn.
[Traurend]10 senk' ich's in die Erde,
Leg' es an des Kindes Herz,
Daß es eine Sprache werde
Meiner Liebe, meinem Schmerz.

Führt der [gleiche Tanz der]11 Horen
Freudig nun den Lenz zurück,
Wird das Todte neu gebohren
Von der Sonne Lebensblick!
Keime, die dem Auge starben
In der Erde kaltem Schooß,
In das heitre Reich der Farben
Ringen sie sich freudig los.
Wenn der Stamm zum Himmel [eilet]12,
Sucht die Wurzel scheu die Nacht,
Gleich in ihre Pflege [theilet]13
Sich des Styx, des Aethers Macht.

Halb berühren sie der Todten,
Halb der Lebenden Gebiet,
Ach sie sind mir theure Boten
Süße Stimmen vom Cozyt!
Hält er gleich sie selbst verschlossen
In dem schauervollen Schlund,
Aus des Frühlings jungen Sprossen
Redet mir der holde Mund,
Daß auch fern vom goldnen Tage,
Wo die Schatten traurig ziehn,
Liebend noch der Busen schlage,
Zärtlich noch die Herzen glühn.

O so laßt euch froh begrüssen,
Kinder der verjüngten Au,
Euer Kelch soll überfließen
Von des Nektars reinstem Thau.
Tauchen will ich euch in Strahlen,
Mit der Iris schönstem Licht
Will ich eure Blätter mahlen
Gleich Aurorens Angesicht.
In des Lenzes heiterm Glanze
Lese jede zarte Brust,
In des Herbstes welkem Kranze
Meinen Schmerz und meine Lust.


Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

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Confirmed with Gedichte von Friederich Schiller, Erster Theil, Leipzig, 1800, bey Siegfried Lebrecht Crusius, pages 5-11; and with Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1797, herausgegeben von Schiller. Tübingen, in der J.G.Cottaischen Buchhandlung, pages 34-41.

1 Schubert: "deiner"
2 Schubert (and 1810 edition of Schiller's poems): "Thräne"
3 Schubert: "Und träte"
4 Schiller (Musenalmanach): "trüb"
5 Schiller (Musenalmanach): "Pfad"
6 Schiller (Musenalmanach): "Fest bestehet Jovis Rath"
7 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "von ihrer"
8 Schubert: "entfloh'n"
9 omitted by Schubert
10 Schubert (Alte Gesamtausgabe): "Trauernd"
11 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "Tanz der gleichen"
12 Schubert: "eilt"
13 Schubert: "teilt"

Submitted by Richard Morris and Peter Rastl

Authorship

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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , title 1: "El plany de Ceres", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "Klaagzang van Ceres", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , title 1: "Lament of Ceres", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Plainte de Cérès", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2017-06-29 04:14:48
Line count: 132
Word count: 654

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Lament of Ceres

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Has beauteous spring appeared?
Has the earth rejuvenated itself?
The sunlit hills are becoming green
And the surface of the ice is cracking.
Out of the blue mirror of the streams
The cloudless Zeus is laughing,
Zephyrus's wings are beating more gently,
The young sprigs are bursting with buds.
Songs are awakening in the grove,
And the Oread speaks:
Your flowers are returning,
Your daughter is not returning.

Oh, how long has it been that I have been pacing around
Searching through the fields of the Earth?
Titan, all your rays of light,
I have sent all your rays to track down the dear one;
Noone has as yet given me any news
Of her beloved face,
And the day which finds all things
Has not found the lost one.
Zeus, have you snatched her from me,
Stirred by her charm, has
Pluto taken her to the black river of Orcus?
Has Pluto abducted her?

Who will go to that gloomy bank
And be the messenger of my grief?
The boat is endlessly pushing off from the land
But it only ever takes on shadows.
Hidden away from all blessed eyes
Remains the nocturnal realm,
And for as long as the Styx has been flowing
It has never carried any living image.
A thousand steps lead down there,
But none lead back to daylight,
No witnesses come to give evidence of her tears
Before the anxious gaze of her mother.

Mothers who are descended from Pyrrha
Are born mortal,
They are allowed to go through the flames of the grave
To follow their beloved child;
Only those who inhabit Jove's house
Cannot approach the dark shore,
Only the blessed ones are exempted,
Parcae, by your strict hand.
Throw me into the night of nights
Out of the golden hall of heaven!
Show no respect to my rights as a goddess,
Oh, my distress is that of a mother!

There, where with her dark spouse
She is joylessly enthroned, that is where I would like to climb down to,
And with a light shadow I want to step
Gently before the Empress.
Oh, her eyes, wet with tears
Are searching in vain for the golden light,
They are wandering off to distant spheres,
But they do not fall on her mother - 
Until joy uncovers her,
Until breast is united with breast,
And, awakened to compassion,
Even the rough river Orcus weeps.

Pointless wish! Wasted laments!
Calmly along the same track
The secure chariot of day rolls on.
The decision of Zeus stands for ever.
Away from those darknesses
He has turned his lucky head;
Torn from me once during the night
She now remains stolen from me for ever,
Until the dark waves of the river
Glow with Aurora's colours,
And until Iris appears in the middle of hell
Carrying her beautiful bow.

Is nothing of her left for me?
No sweet pledge left as a souvenir
Showing that she still loves me from afar,
No trace of her dear hand?
Are there no love bonds tying
The child up to her mother?
Between the living and the dead,
Has no connection been established?
No, she has not fled away completely!
We are not completely separated!
The eternal powers above have
In fact granted us a language!

When the children of spring die,
When, because of the cold breath of the north wind
Leaves and flowers lose their colour,
And the naked straw stands sadly,
Then I take the highest life
Out of Vertumnus's rich horn of plenty,
Sacrificing it to offer it to the Styx,
What to me is the golden corn of the seed,
I lower it mournfully into the Earth
And lay it on the child's heart,
So that it will become a language,
Expressing my love, my sorrow.

Only when the regular dance of the Hours leads
Spring joyfully back
Will the dead be born anew
Out of the living glance of the sun;
Seeds which to the eye appeared to have died
In the cold womb of the Earth,
In the cheerful realm of colour
They joyfully fight themselves free.
As stems hurry up towards the sky
The roots shyly search for the night,
Sharing equally in their care
Are the powers of the Styx and of the Ether.

They are in contact half with the dead
And half with the domain of the living - 
Oh, they are my dear messengers,
Sweet voices of Cocytus.
Even though he is still holding her captive
In the dreadful abyss,
Out of the young shoots of spring
Her beauteous mouth is speaking to me;
Telling me that although far away from golden days
Where shadows fall sadly,
Her breast is still beating with love,
Hearts are still glowing affectionately.

Oh, therefore let me greet you with delight,
Children of the rejuvenated meadow,
Your cup will overflow
With nectar's purest dew.
I shall bathe you all in rays;
With Iris's most beautiful light
I shall paint your petals
To look like Aurora's face.
In the cheerful gaze of spring
Let each tender breast take note,
In the withered garland of autumn let each breast take note of
My sorrow and my pleasure.


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Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Malcolm Wren, (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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Text added to the website: 2017-07-14.
Last modified: 2017-07-14 18:12:11
Line count: 132
Word count: 864