by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Lust und Qual
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE
Knabe saß ich, Fischerknabe,
Auf dem schwarzen Fels im Meer,
Und, bereitend falsche Gabe,
Sang ich lauschend rings umher.
Angel schwebte lockend nieder;
Gleich ein Fischlein streift und schnappt,
Schadenfrohe Schelmenlieder
Und das Fischlein war ertappt.

Ach! am Ufer, durch die Fluren,
Ins Geklüfte tief zum Hain,
Folgt' ich einer Sohle Spuren,
Und die Hirtin war allein.
Blicke sinken, Worte stocken! -
Wie ein Taschenmesser schnappt
Faßte sie mich in die Locken
Und das Bübchen war ertappt.

Weiß doch Gott mit welchem Hirten
Sie aufs neue sich ergeht!
Muß ich in das Meer mich gürten,
Wie es sauset, wie es weht.
Wenn mich oft im Netze jammert
Das Gewimmel groß und klein,
Immer möcht' ich noch umklammert
Noch von ihrer Armen sein!

Confirmed with Goethe's sämmtliche Werke in vierzig Bänden, Erster Band, Stuttgart und Tübingen: J.G. Cotta’scher Verlag, 1840, pages 26-27.


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Goig i turment", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Joy and agony", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Plaisir et tourment", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Alberto Pedrotti

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 122

Joy and agony
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A lad I sat, a fisher lad,
Upon the black rock in the sea,
And, preparing a deceptive gift,
I sang listening round about.
My fishing rod wafted temptingly downward;
Immediately a little fish darted up and snapped,
Gleeful, roguish songs
And the little fish was caught.

Ah! upon the shore, through the meadows,
Into the chasms deep into the grove,
I followed the footsteps of a shoe,
And the shepherdess was alone.
Gazes fall, words fail! -
As a pocket knife snaps shut,
She grasped my curls
And the little lad was caught.

Only God knows with which shepherd
She is sporting anew!
I must gird myself with the sea,
No matter how it roars, how it blows.
When often now I feel pity for the seething mass
Of creatures, great and small, in my net,
Always I would like to be
Still clasped in her arms!

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2014 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

 

This text was added to the website: 2014-07-27
Line count: 24
Word count: 148