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O Dank, Dank diesen freundlich grünen...

Language: German (Deutsch)

 O Dank, Dank diesen freundlich grünen Bäumen,
 Die meines Kerkers Mauern mir verstecken!
 Ich will mich frei und glücklich träumen,
 Warum aus meinem süßen Wahn mich wecken?
 Umfängt mich nicht der weite Himmelsschoß?
 Die Blicke, frei und fessellos,
 Ergehen1 sich in ungemeßnen Räumen.
 Dort, wo die grauen Nebelberge ragen,
 Fängt meines Reiches Grenze an,
 Und diese Wolken, die nach Mittag jagen,
 Sie suchen Frankreichs fernen Ozean.
 Eilende Wolken! Segler der Lüfte!
 Wer mit euch wanderte, mit euch schiffte!
 Grüßet mir freundlich mein Jugendland!
 Ich bin gefangen, ich bin in Banden,
 Ach, ich hab keinen andern Gesandten!
 Frei in Lüften ist euren Bahn,
 Ihr seid nicht dieser Königin untertan.
 Ach, teure Lady! Ihr seid außer Euch,
 Die langentbehrte Freiheit macht Euch schwärmen.
  Dort legt ein Fischer den Nachen an!
 Dieses elende Werkzeug könnte mich retten,
 Brächte mich schnell zu befreundeten Städten.
 Spärlich nährt es den dürftigen Mann.
 Beladen wollt' ich ihn reich mit Schätzen,
 Einen Zug sollt' er tun, wie er keinen getan,
 Das Glück sollt' er finden in seinen Netzen,
 Nähm er mich ein in den rettenden Kahn.
 Verlorne Wünsche! Seht ihr nicht, daß uns
 Von ferne dort die Spähertritte folgen?
 Ein finster grausames Verbot scheucht jedes
 Mitleidige Geschöpf aus unserm Wege.
 Nein, gute Hanna! Glaub' mir, nicht umsonst
 Ist meines Kerkers Thor geöffnet worden.
 Die kleine Gunst ist mir des größern Glücks
 Verkünderin. Ich irre nicht. Es ist
 Der Liebe thät'ge Hand, der ich sie danke.
 Lord Lesters mächt'gen Arm erkenn' ich drin.
 Allmählig will man mein Gefängniß weiten,
 Durch Kleineres zum Größern mich gewöhnen,
 Bis ich das Antlitz dessen endlich schaue,
 Der mir die Bande löst auf immerdar.
 Ach, ich kann diesen Widerspruch nicht reimen!
 Noch gestern kündigt man den Tod euch an,
 Und heute wird euch plötzlich solche Freiheit.
 Auch denen, hört' ich sagen, wird die Kette
 Gelöst, auf die die ew'ge Freiheit wartet.
 Hörst du das Hifthorn? Hörst du's klingen,
 Mächtigen Rufes, durch Feld und Hain?
 Ach, auf das muthige Roß mich zu schwingen,
 An den fröhlichen Zug mich zu reihn!
 Noch mehr, o die bekannte Stimme,
 Schmerzlich süßer Erinnerung voll.
 Oft vernahm sie mein Ohr mit Freuden,
 Auf des Hochlands bergigen Haiden,
 Wenn die tobende Jagd erscholl.

Translation(s): ENG

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Submitted by Sharon Krebs


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , no title, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2016-05-18 15:12:05
Line count: 63
Word count: 378

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Oh thanks, thanks be to these friendly...

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

 Oh thanks, thanks be to these friendly green trees
 That hide the stone walls of my prison from me!
 I shall dream that I am free and happy,
 Why should I be awakened from my sweet delusion?
 Am I not embraced by the wide canopy of heaven?
 My gazes, free and unfettered,
 Are free to wander in immeasurable expanses.
 There, where the grey mountains of mist tower,
 Begin the borders of my kingdom,
 And these clouds that race toward the south,
 They seek France's distant ocean.
 Hastening clouds!  Sailors of the breezes!
 Ah, if one could wander with you, navigate with you!
 Convey my friendly greetings to the land of my youth!
 I am imprisoned, I am in chains,
 Ah, I have no other ambassador!
 Your path is free in the breezes,
 You are not subjugated to this queen.
 Ah, dear Lady!  You are beside yourself,
 The freedom so long denied you is making you rave.
 There a fisherman is mooring his boat!
 This wretched instrument could save me,
 It could quickly carry me to places where I have friends.
 It only brings the miserable man a meagre living.
 Richly would I heap treasures upon him,
 He would make a catch like never before,
 He would find good fortune in his nets
 If he took me with him in the boat of my rescue.
 Vain wishes! Do you not see that the footfalls
 Of spied follow us from afar?
 A darkly merciless prohibition chases every
 Sympathetic creature from our path.
 No, good Hannah!  Believe me, not for naught
 Has my prison’s door been opened.
 That small boon is a messenger of the greatest
 Good fortune for me.  I am not wrong.  It is
 The active hand of love to which I owe this boon.
 I recognize the powerful hand of Lord Lester in it.
 Bit by bit they are planning to expand my prison,
 Through smaller things I shall become accustomed to greater,
 Until I finally see the face of him
 Who shall loosen my bonds forevermore.
 Ah, I cannot make sense of this contradiction!
 Only yesterday they announced your execution,
 And today you are suddenly given such freedom.
 I have heard tell that the chain is loosened for those
 As well for whom eternal freedom waits.
 Do you hear the bugle? Do you hear it sounding
 With a mighty call through field and grove?
 Ah, to be able to swing myself upon a courageous horse,
 To take my place in the joyful parade!
 Sound yet more, oh the familiar voice
 Full of bittersweet memory.
 Often my ear perceived it with joy
 Upon the highlands’ mountainous heaths,
 When the noise of the turbulent hunt was heard.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

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  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 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
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Friedrich von Schiller (1759 - 1805), no title, appears in Maria Stuart, Act III, Scene 1
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Gustav Baumfelder, Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, Rudolph Bergh, Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-05-18.
Last modified: 2016-05-19 18:17:57
Line count: 63
Word count: 459