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Das Paradies in der Wüste

Language: German (Deutsch)

"Mein Freund Antonius, der Vater mir und Lehrer war,
mit dem ich lebenslang in weitester Entfernung ungetrennt
Ein Herz und Eine Seele war, der huntertjähr'ge Greis,
das saget mir mein Geist, ist jetzt gestorben!
Noch einmal wollt' ich ihn im Leben sehn,
nur einmal ihn noch sehn.
Wohlan, ich will die Stäte sehen, 
wo er lebtete und starb, wo er lebete und starb."
So sprach zu sich Hilarion Palestina, der,
wie sein Antonius, der Armen Freund, ihr Arzt,
ihr Trost, sich selber aber hart und strenge war.
Er zog zur Thebaide.
Durch grause Wüsten ging er...
Siehe, da erhob sich ein Fels,
aus dem Felsen sprang ein heller Bach,
umschattet rings von Palmen,
am Felsen hob sich eine Traubenwand empor;
wohl ausgehauen leitete ein Schneckenpfad die Höh hinauf;
im Teich des Baches spielten Fische;
Kräuter blühten,
und viele gesunde Früchte prangten im Garten, 
ringsum, ringsum ein Elysium.
Verjünget wanderte Hilarion hin und daher,
stieg auf und ab, ihm sangen die Vögel,
die einst mit Antonius
Loblieder angestimmt, den Freundesgruß.
Des Greises edle Jünger zeigten ihm
jedweden Lieblingsort des Heiligen, dem sie gedienet.

Hier, hier betet' er.
Auf dieser Höhe sang er Hymnen.
Dort pflegte er zu ruhn.
Hier arbeitet' er.
Den Palmenhain hat er gepflanzet,...
er die Reben sich er zogen.
Diesen Teich hat er mit eigner Hand umdämmert.
Hier die Bäum' und Kräuter dieses Gartens
sind des guten Greises Kinder.
Dies Gerät gebrauchte seine Hand.
Komm her und sieh, das ist die Hütte,
wo er sich dem Volk, das zu ihm strömte,
dann und wann entzog.

Wohl, so zeiget mir sein Grab!

Sein Grab ist nirgend, wir versprachen ihm,
es Keinem je zu zeigen,

denn der Mensch ist Staub, sprach er,
und muß zu Staube werden.

Denn der Mensch ist Staub, sprach er,
und muß zu Staube werden;
Feind war er jeder leichenehrenden Ägyptischen Abgötterei.

Er ruhe da, wo er ruht.

O bleibe du bei uns, o bleibe, bleibe bei uns,
du, sein Freund und Schüler, bist Antonius anjetzt der Christenheit!

Das bin ich nicht! Der Heil'ge lebt bei Gott,
sein Geist in tausend Herzen,
auch in dem eurigen!
Antonius ist nicht begraben,
er, der rings die Seele war in dieser weiten regen Gottesstadt!
Antonius' geweihte Höhe zu bewohnen geziemt mir nicht.
Lebt alle wohl!
Ihr Brüder, und ihr Palmenbäume,
Bach und Teich und Garten, jede Frucht, die er gepflanzet,
ihr, seine Vögel, lebet wohl!
Ich nehme mir sein fröhlich Angesicht,
sein fröhlich Herz aus dieser Wüste mit,
durch sie wird jede Wüste ein Paradies.

 Durch sie wird jede Wüste ein Paradies.

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (John H. Campbell) (W. Kommer) , title 1: "The paradise in the desert", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:33
Line count: 75
Word count: 432

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The paradise in the desert

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

 ``My friend Antonius, who was my father and teacher,
  Long had we lived a far distance apart.
 One heart and one soul we were, the century-old man,
 that my spirit tells me, has now died !
 Once more, I wanted to see him in my lifetime,
 only once more see him.
 Alas, I want to see the place,
 where he lived and died, where he lived and died.''
 So Hilarion Palestina spoke to himself, 
 who was, like his Antonius, friend of the poor, 
 their doctor, their solace, but hard and strict on himself.
 He went to the Thebaide.
 He went through horrible deserts...
 Look here, there a rock rose,
 and out of the rock a light brook emerged,
 crowded by a ring of palms,
 at the rock a wall of grapes lifted up itself;
 well done a snail-path led up to the height;
 fish played in the pond of the brook;
 Herbs bloomed,
 and many healthy fruits were in the garden, 
 all around a paradise.
 Rejuvenated, Hilarion wandered forth,
 he went here and there, the birds sang for him,
 as once with Antonius they had sung
 In praise, in friendly greeting.
 The noble disciples of the old man showed him
 each favourite place of the saint, whom they had served.
 Here, here he prayed.
 On this height he sang hymns.
 There, he use to rest.
 Here he worked.
 He planted this palm-grove,
 he planted the vineyard.
 This pond he made by building a dam with his own hands.
 Here the trees and herbs of this garden 
 are the good old man's children.
 This tool has been used by his hand.
 Come and see, that is the hut,
 where he withdrew himself 
 from the people from time to time.
 Alas, then show me his grave !
 His grave is nowhere, we promised him 
 never to show it to anybody.
 because man is dust, he said,
 and to dust he must return;
 Because man is dust, he said,
 and to dust he must return;
 He was opposed to the corpse-worshiping Egyptian idolatry.
 He may rest where he lies.
 O may you stay with us, o stay, stay with us,
 you, his friend and disciple, you are Antonius from now on for the Christian people!
 That I am not! The holy man lives with God,
 his spirit in a thousand hearts,
 also in yours !
 Antonius is not buried,
 he, who was the soul of this great and vital city God!
 I am not worthy to assume Antonius' sacred place. 
 Farewell to you all!
 You brothers, and your palm-trees,
 Brook and pond and garden, each fruit, that he has planted,
  you, his birds, farewell ! 
 I take with me his joyful countenance,
 his happy heart from this desert,
 Through him the desert has become a paradise.
 Through him the desert has become a paradise.

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  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by John H. Campbell and W. Kommer, (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 between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:33
Line count: 75
Word count: 481