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Amphiaraos

Language: German (Deutsch)

Vor Thebens siebenfach gähnenden Thoren
Lag im furchtbaren Brüderstreit
Das Heer der Fürsten zum Schlagen bereit,
Im heiligen Eide zum Morde verschworen.
Und mit des Panzers blendendem Licht
Gerüstet, als gält' es die Welt zu bekriegen,
Träumen sie jauchzend von Kämpfen und Siegen,
Nur Amphiaraos, der Herrliche, nicht.

Denn er liest in dem ewigen Kreise der Sterne,
Wen die kommenden Stunden feindlich [bedrohn]1.
Des Sonnenlenkers gewaltiger Sohn
Sieht klar in der Zukunft nebelnde Ferne.
Er kennt des Schicksals verderblichen Bund,
Er weiß, wie die Würfel, die eisernen, fallen,
Er sieht die [Moira]2 mit blutigen Krallen,
Doch die Helden [verschmähen]3 den [heil'gen]4 Mund.

Er sah des Mordes gewaltsame Thaten,
Er wußte, was ihm die Parce spann.
So ging er zum Kampf, ein verlorner Mann,
Von dem eignen Weibe schmählich verrathen.
Er war sich der himmlischen Flamme bewußt,
Die heiß die kräftige Seele durchglühte,
Der Stolze nannte sich [Apolloide]5,
Es schlug ihm ein göttliches Herz in der Brust.

"Wie? - ich, zu dem die Götter geredet,
Den der [Weisheit]6 heilige Düfte umwehn,
Ich soll in gemeiner Schlacht vergehn,
Von Periclymenos Hand getödtet?
Verderben will ich durch [eigne]7 Macht,
Und staunend vernehm' es die kommende Stunde,
Aus künftiger Sänger geheiligtem Munde,
Wie ich kühn mich gestürzt in die ewige Nacht."

Und als der blutige Kampf begonnen,
Und die Ebne vom Mordgeschrei wiederhallt,
So ruft er verzweifelnd: "Es naht mit Gewalt,
Was mir die [untrügliche]8 Parce gesponnen.
Doch wogt in der Brust mir ein göttliches Blut,
Drum will ich auch werth des Erzeugers verderben."
Und wandte die Rosse auf Leben und Sterben,
Und jagt zu des Stromes hochbrausender Fluth.

Wild schnauben die [Hengste]9, laut rasselt der Wagen,
Das Stampfen der Hufe [zermalmt]10 die Bahn.
Und schneller und schneller noch ras't es heran,
Als gält' es, die [flücht'ge]11 Zeit zu erjagen.
Wie wenn er die Leuchte des Himmels geraubt,
Kommt er [im]12 Wirbeln der Windsbraut geflogen;
Erschrocken heben die Götter der Wogen,
Aus schäumenden Fluthen das [schilfichte]13 Haupt.

[Doch]14 plötzlich, als wenn der Himmel erglüh'te,
Stürzt ein Blitz aus der heitern Luft,
Und die Erde zerreißt sich zur furchtbaren Kluft;
Da rief laut jauchzend der [Apolloide]5:
"Dank dir, [Gewaltiger]15, fest steht mir der Bund,
Dein Blitz ist mir der Unsterblichkeit Siegel,
Ich folge dir, Zeus!" - und er faßte die Zügel,
Und jagte die Rosse hinab in den Schlund.


Translation(s): DUT ENG FRE ITA

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Confirmed with Knospen von Theodor Körner. Leipzig bei Georg Joachim Göschen. 1810, pages 91-93; with Theodor Körner's Gedichte. [Erster Theil.] Neueste Auflage. Wien 1815. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 70-72; with Theodor Körners vermischte Gedichte und Erzählungen (poetischer Nachlass). Wien, 1815. In der Haasschen Buchhandlung, pages 37-40; and with Urania. Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1810. Amsterdam, im Kunst- und Industrie-Comptoir, pages 220-222.

1 Schubert (Neue Gesamtausgabe): "bedrohen"
2 Schubert: "Möira"
3 Körner (Urania 1810): "verschmähn"
4 Körner (Urania 1810), and Schubert: "heiligen"
5 Körner (Urania 1810): "Apollonide"
6 Schubert: "Wahrheit"
7 Schubert: "eigene"
8 Körner (Bauer edition): "untriegliche"
9 Schubert: "Rosse"
10 Körner (Urania 1810): "zermalmte"; Schubert: "zermalmet"
11 Schubert: "flüchtige"
12 Schubert: "in"
13 Körner (Bauer edition): "schilfige"
14 Schubert: "Und"
15 Körner (Urania 1810): "Gewalt'ger"

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):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Amphiaraos", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Amphiaros", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Amphiaraos", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Amfiarao", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


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

Last modified: 2018-06-23 04:43:35
Line count: 56
Word count: 384

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Amphiaros

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Before the seven wide-open gates of Thebes,
in dreadful fratricidal dispute
lay the prince's army, ready for battle,
sworn in sacred oaths to murder.
And with the dazzling light of their armor,
girt as if they intended to wage war with the world,
they dreamed with joy of battles and triumphs -
all but Amphiaros the magnificent.

For he reads in the eternal cycle of the stars
whom the coming hours threaten with hostility.
The sun-god's powerful son
sees clearly into the future's nebulous distance.
He knows of Destiny's fatal covenant:
he knows how the dice - the iron ones - will fall;
he sees Moira with bloody claws...
but heroes spurn the sacred mouth.

He saw the violent acts of murder,
and knew what the Fates were spinning for him.
So he went to battle, a lost man,
by his own wife shamefully betrayed.
He was aware of the heavenly flame,
which hotly burned in his strong soul;
the proud man called himself a son of Apollo,
with a divine heart beating in his breast.

"What? I, to whom the gods have spoken,
I, surrounded by the sacred, wafting fragrance of [Wisdom]1 -
am I, in common battle,
to be killed at the hand of Periklymenos?
I would rather die through my own power
and in the time to come it will be heard with astonishment
from the sacred lips of future singers
how I boldly leapt into the eternal night."

And when the bloody struggle began,
and the plains echoed with murderous cries,
he called desperately: "It approaches with force,
what the infallible Fates have woven.
But in my breast surges divine blood,
so, worthy of my father, I will die."
And he turned the horses for life or for death,
and plunged toward the river's high, raging flood.

Wildly the horses snort, loudly the chariot rattles,
the stamping of hoofs crush the road.
And faster and faster still it races,
as if it were hunting the fleeing Time.
As if he had stolen the torch of heaven,
he comes flying in a tornado of wind;
terrified, the gods lift their reedy heads
from the waves of the foaming flood.

But suddenly, as if heaven were on fire,
a lightning-bolt plunges down from the sky
and the earth tears apart into terrible gaps;
then the son of Apollo calls loudly, rejoicing:
"Thank you, o Powerful One! You stand by me.
Your lightning is the seal of immortality;
I will follow you, Zeus!" and he seized the reins
and spurred the horse down into the abyss.


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View original text (without footnotes)
1 for the Schubert version: "Truth"

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- http://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

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Based on

 

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:37
Line count: 56
Word count: 427