by Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)
Translation by Marie Luise Gothein (1863 - 1931)

I had gone a‑begging from door to door...
Language: English  after the Bangla (Bengali) 
Available translation(s): GER
I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path, 
when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance 
like a gorgeous dream and I wondered
who was this King of all kings!

My hopes rose high and methought 
my evil days were at an end,
and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked
and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.

The chariot stopped where I stood.
Thy glance fell on me 
and thou camest down with a smile.
I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. 
Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand 
and say `What hast thou to give to me?'

Ah, what a kingly jest was it 
to open thy palm to a beggar to beg!
I was confused and stood undecided, 
and then from my wallet I slowly took out 
the least little grain of corn 
and gave it to thee.

But how great my surprise when at the day's end 
I emptied my bag on the floor to find 
a least little gram of gold among the poor heap.
I bitterly wept and wished 
that I had had the heart to give thee my all.

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Authorship

Based on

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

    [ None yet in the database ]

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in Dutch (Nederlands), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG GER GER ; composed by Jan Pouwels.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Marie Luise Gothein (1863 - 1931) , first published 1914 ENG ; composed by Stefan Wolpe.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2009-11-13 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:45
Line count: 25
Word count: 204

Ich ging als Bettler von Türe zu Türe
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Ich ging als Bettler von Tür zu Türe am Dorfweg.
Da erschien in der Ferne dein goldner Wagen,
wie schimmernder Traum, und ich wunderte mich,
wer dieser König der Könige sei.

Meine Hoffnung stieg hoch, 
und mir deuchten die schlimmen Tage vorbei,
ich stand Almosen erwartend, die ungebeten verschenkt,
und Reichtum, rings in den Staub geschüttet.

Der Wagen hielt, wo ich stand.
Dein Blick fiel auf mich, 
du stiegst nieder mit Lächeln.
Ich fühlte, das Glück meines Lebens sei endlich gekommen.
Da plötzlich strecktest du deine Rechte aus
und sprachst: "Was hast du mir zu geben?"

O welch ein Königsscherz wars,
die Hand zu öffnen, dem Bettler zu betteln!
Ich war verwirrt, stand unentschlossen,
und aus dem Quersack nahm ich langsam
das kleinste Korn 
und gab es dir.

Doch wie groß mein Erstaunen, als am Ende des Tages den Sack 
ich geleert auf dem Boden, zuletzt ein kleines Korn von Gold
unter dem armen Haufen zu finden.
Und bitterlich weint ich und wünschte,
ich hätte das Herz gehabt, dir mein Alles zu geben.

Authorship

Based onBased on

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


Researcher for this text: Ferdinando Albeggiani

Text added to the website: 2009-11-16 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:27
Line count: 25
Word count: 173