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Wenn der uralte

Language: German (Deutsch)

Wenn der uralte,
Heilige Vater
Mit gelassener Hand
Aus rollenden Wolken
Segnende Blitze
Über die Erde sä't,
Küß' ich den letzten
Saum seines Kleides,
Kindliche Schauer
[Treu]1 in der Brust.

Denn mit Göttern
Soll sich nicht messen
Irgend ein Mensch.
Hebt er sich aufwärts,
Und berührt
Mit dem Scheitel die Sterne,
Nirgends haften dann
Die unsichern Sohlen,
Und mit ihm spielen
Wolken und Winde.

Steht er mit festen,
Markigen Knochen
Auf der wohlgegründeten,
Dauernden Erde;
Reicht er nicht auf,
Nur mit der Eiche
Oder der Rebe
Sich zu vergleichen.

Was unterscheidet
Götter von Menschen?
Daß viele Wellen
Vor jenen wandeln,
Ein ewiger Strom:
Uns hebt die Welle,
Verschlingt die Welle,
Und wir versinken.

Ein kleiner Ring
Begränzt unser Leben,
Und viele Geschlechter
Reihen sich dauernd
An ihres Daseyns
Unendliche Kette.


Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FIN FRE ITA

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Confirmed with Goethe's Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand. Zweyter Band. Stuttgart und Tübingen, in der J.G.Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1827, pages 84-85; and with Goethe's Schriften, Achter Band, Leipzig, bey Georg Joachim Göschen, 1789, pages 212-214.

1 Schubert: "Tief"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

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) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Grenzen der mensheid", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Limits of Mankind", copyright ©
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Ihmisyyden rajat"
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Limites de l'humanité", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Limiti dell'umano", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


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

Last modified: 2017-09-15 13:47:28
Line count: 42
Word count: 130

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Limiti dell'umano

Language: Italian (Italiano) after the German (Deutsch)

Quando l'antico 
Padre celeste
Con mano serena
Da nubi tonanti
Benedicenti lampi
Sopra la terra sparge,
mi chino a baciare
l'estremo lembo della Sua veste,
e un infantile tremore
mi riempie il cuore.
 
Perché con gli dei
Non deve misurarsi
Nessuno fra gli uomini.
Se in alto si leva
E tocca, qualcuno,
Col capo le stelle,
allora in nessun luogo
poggiano i suoi piedi insicuri,
e di lui gioco si prendono
nuvole e venti.
 
Se con membra robuste,
sta vigoroso
sulla sicura
stabile terra,
il paragone
non regge 
con la quercia
o anche con la vite.
 
Cosa allora distingue
Dei e uomini?
Che molte onde
Davanti a loro passano
In eterna corrente:
Noi l'onda innalza,
e poi ci sommerge,
facendoci affondare.
 
Un piccolo cerchio
La nostra vita limita,
e molte generazioni
perennemente si allineano
alla catena infinita
della loro esistenza.


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Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2008 by Ferdinando Albeggiani, (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
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), title 1: "Grenzen der Menschheit", title 2: "Gränzen der Menschheit", written 1780, first published 1789 CAT DUT ENG FIN FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Alban Maria Johannes Berg, Anders Eliasson, Ernst Hess, Ferdinand von Hiller, Hugo Wilhelm Ludwig Kaun, Tauno Pylkkänen, Franz Peter Schubert, George Stern, Hugo Wolf. Go to the text.

 

Text added to the website: 2008-07-24.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:48
Line count: 42
Word count: 140