by James Joyce (1882 - 1941)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

Nightpiece
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
Gaunt in gloom
The pale stars their torches
Enshrouded wave. 
Ghostfires from heaven's far verges faint illume
Arches on soaring arches,
Night's sindark nave. 

Seraphim
The lost hosts awaken
To service till
In moonless gloom each lapses, muted, dim
Raised when she has and shaken
Her thurible. 

And long and loud
To night's nave upsoaring
A starknell tolls
As the bleak incense surges, cloud on cloud,
Voidward from the adoring
Waste of souls.

First published in Poetry, May 1917

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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Nocturne", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Nachtstück", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:36
Line count: 18
Word count: 73

Nachtstück
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Fahl aus der Finsternis
flackern verblassender Sterne Fackeln
von Wolken verhangen.
Geisternde Lichter aus Himmels fernen Rändern erleuchten matt,
Bögen auf Himmelsgewölben,
das sündenschwarze Kirchenschiff der Nacht.

Seraphim,
die verlorenen Heerscharen erwachen
zum Gottesdienst bis
in mondloser Düsternis ein jeder leiser wird, schweigt,
wenn sie erhoben hat das Weihrauchfass 
und es geschwenkt.

Und lang und laut
ins Kirchenschiff der Nacht aufstrebend
erschallt die Sternenglocke,
während der bleiche Weihrauch steigt, Wolke für Wolke,
in die Leere aus der Nichtigkeit
anbetender Seelen.

Authorship

  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2014 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT) t-online.de

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on

 

Text added to the website: 2014-09-15 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-09-15 15:01:02
Line count: 18
Word count: 80