Six Hölderlin fragments

Song Cycle by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976)

Word count: 472
Original language: Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente
1. Menschenbeifall [sung text checked 1 time]
Ist nicht heilig mein Herz, schöneren Lebens voll,
  Seit ich liebe? Warum achtetet ihr mich mehr,
    Da ich stolzer und wilder,
      Wortereicher und leerer war?

Ach! der Menge gefällt, was auf den Markplatz taugt,
  Und es ehret der Knecht nur den Gewaltsamen;
    An das Göttliche glauben
      Die allein, die es selber sind.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , no title, copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright ©
  • ENG English [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Public's applause", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , no title, copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 - 1843)
1. The approval of others
Is my heart not sacred, full of finer life,
now that I love? Why did you regard me more
when I was prouder and more truculent,
when I was more wordy and more vain?

Ah, only what is good for the marketplace can please people;
the servant respects only an oppressive master.
To believe in the divine
one must be divine in one's own right.

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 -- https://www.lieder.net/

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


Based on

Translation of title "Menschenbeifall" = "The approval of others"


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 65

Translation © by Emily Ezust
2. Die Heimat [sung text checked 1 time]
Froh kehrt der Schiffer heim an den stillen [Strom]1
   Von fernen Inseln, wo er geerntet hat;
      Wohl [möcht' auch ich]2 zur Heimat wieder;
         Aber was hab' ich, wie Leid, geerntet? -
 
Ihr holden Ufer, die ihr mich aufgezogt,
   [Stillt ihr der Liebe Leiden? ach!]3 gebt ihr mir,
      Ihr Wälder meiner Kindheit, wann ich
         [Komme]4, die Ruhe noch Einmal wieder?

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Terra natal", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Home", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , "Le pays natal", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Friedrich Hölderlin Sämtliche Gedichte und Hyperion, Frankfurt am Main und Leipzig: Insel Verlag, 1999, page 200

Note (provided by Sharon Krebs): Hölderlin published two versions of this poem - this one with two stanzas and a longer one with six stanzas. Only the first two lines are the same.

1 Eisler: "Strome"
2 Eisler: "möchte ich gern"
3 Eisler: "Ach!"
4 Eisler: "wiederkehre".

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]
by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 - 1843)
2. Home
 The boatman turns homeward on the mute river
 from distant islands, where he has been gathering his harvest;
 gladly would I also turn toward home now;
 but what have I gathered except sorrow?
 
 You lovely banks that brought me up,
 can you still love's grief? ah, can you give me,
 when I come to you woods of my childhood,
 can you give me that peace once again?

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 -- https://www.lieder.net/

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


Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 68

Translation © by Emily Ezust
3. Sokrates und Alcibiades [sung text checked 1 time]
"Warum huldigest du, heiliger Sokrates,
  Diesem Jünglinge stets? [Kennest]1 du Größers nicht,
    Warum siehet mit Liebe,
      Wie auf Götter, dein Aug' auf ihn?"

Wer das Tiefste gedacht, liebt das Lebendigste,
  Hohe Tugend versteht, wer in die Welt geblickt,
    Und es neigen die Weisen
      Oft am Ende zu Schönem sich.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Sòcrates i Alcibíades", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Socrates and Alcibiades", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , "Socrate et Alcibiade ", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Britten: "Kennst"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 - 1843)
3. Socrates and Alcibiades
"Why, holy Socrates, do you court
  This youth all the time? Don't you know of anything greater?
    Why do your eyes gaze on him with love,
      as if you were looking at the gods?"
 
He who has pondered the most profound thoughts, loves what is most alive;
  He who has seen the world understands lofty virtue.
    And in the end, the wise will often
      Bend toward that which is beautiful.

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 -- https://www.lieder.net/

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


Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 70

Translation © by Emily Ezust
4. Die Jugend [sung text checked 1 time]
Da ich ein Knabe war,
rettet' ein Gott mich oft
vom Geschrei und der Rufe der Menschen,
da spielt' ich sicher und gut
mit den Blumen des Hains,
und die Lüftchen des Himmels
spielten mit mir.

Und wie du das Herz
der Planzen erfreust,
wenn sie entgegen dir
die zarten Arme strecken,
so hast du mein Herz erfreut,
Vater Helios!
und, wie Endymion,
war ich dein Liebling,
heilige Luna!

O all ihr Treuen
freundlichen Götter!
Daß ihr wüßtet,
wie euch meine Seele geliebt!

[ ... ]

Doch kannt' ich euch besser,
Als ich je die Menschen gekannt
Ich verstand die Stille des Aethers
Der Menschen Worte verstand ich nie.

Mich erzog der Wohllaut
des säuselnden Hains,
und lieben lernt' ich
unter den Blumen.

Im Arme der Götter wuchs ich groß.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "La joventut", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The youth", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 - 1843)
4. The youth
When I was a boy
a god would often rescue me
from the screams and shouts of men;
there I would play, secure and good,
with the flowers of the grove,
and the breezes of the sky
would play with me.

And as you cheer the hearts
of plants
when toward you
they reach their tender arms,
so did you gladden my heart,
Father Helios!
and, like Endymion,
I was your beloved,
sacred Luna!

O all you constant,
amiable gods!
Would that you knew
how my soul loved you!

[ ... ]

But I knew you better
than I ever knew any man;
I understood the silence of the Ether,
but the words of mankind I never understood.

I was brought up by the pleasind sound
of the rustling grove,
and I learned to love
beneath the flowers.

In the arms of the gods I became a man.

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 -- https://www.lieder.net/

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


Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 33
Word count: 172

Translation © by Emily Ezust
5. Hälfte des Lebens [sung text checked 1 time]
Mit gelben Birnen hänget
Und voll mit wilden Rosen
Das Land in den See,
Ihr holden Schwäne,
Und trunken von Küssen
[[Tunkt]1 ihr das Haupt
Ins heilignüchterne Wasser.]2

Weh mir, wo nehm' ich, wenn
Es Winter ist, die Blumen, und wo
Den Sonnenschein,
Und Schatten der Erde?
Die Mauern [stehn]3
Sprachlos und kalt, im Winde
Klirren die Fahnen.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "La meitat de la vida", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The middle of life", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le milieu de la vie", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , "Mi-temps de la vie", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , "Leath an tSaoil", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Müller: "Taucht"
2 omitted by Ligeti
3 Cerha: "stehen"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 - 1843)
5. The middle of life
With yellow pears
and full of wild roses,
the land hangs over the lake,
you fair swans,
and drunk with kisses
you dunk your heads
into the sacred, sober water.

Woe is me! where, when 
it is winter, will I get flowers, 
and where the sunshine,
and the shade of the earth?
The walls stand
mute and cold; in the wind
the weathervanes rattle.

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 -- https://www.lieder.net/

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


Based on

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This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 64

Translation © by Emily Ezust
6. Die Linien des Lebens [sung text checked 1 time]
Die Linien des Lebens sind verschieden,
Wie Wege sind, und wie der Berge Grenzen.
Was hier wir sind, kann dort ein Gott ergänzen
Mit Harmonien und ewigen Lohn und Frieden.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Les línies de la vida", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright ©
  • ENG English [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Les lignes de la vie", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 - 1843)
6. The lines of life
 The lines of life are varied,
 as are roads, and as are the boundaries of mountains.
 Whatever we are here, a god can complement there
 with harmony and perpetual reward and peace.

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 -- https://www.lieder.net/

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


Based on

Translation of title "Die Linien des Lebens" = "The lines of life"


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 4
Word count: 33

Translation © by Emily Ezust