by Josef Weinheber (1892 - 1945)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Sankt Michael
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE
Ein Mahl für uns und ein Licht für dich,
die Toten schlafen ewiglich,
der Acker, der liegt bloß.
Was soll der Nam? Ob Wode, ob du.
Die Kraft ist alls und der Glaube dazu --
Sankt Michael, salva nos!

Der Wind weht [scharf]1 herein von West,
von Ost her trägt ein Sturm die Pest,
und alle Teufel sind los.
Wenn [uns]2 der Wein jetzund erfriert,
uns auch im Mai erfrieren wird --
Sankt Michael, salva nos!

Erzengel stark und Drachenheld,
lehr uns, wie man den Drachen stellt,
grimmig mit Hieb und Stoß.
Du hell im Haar und schwarz geschient,
was deutsch ist, dir mit Schweigen dient --
Sankt Michael, salva nos!

Ein Mahl für uns und ein Licht für dich,
die Toten schlafen ewiglich,
der Acker, der liegt bloß.
Laß uns nicht reden um Deutschlands Ehr,
ringend bereit sein, das ist mehr --
Sankt Michael, salva nos!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 The Strauss score contains the misprint "schaft", and many recordings can be found to include it, but it does not exist as an adverb in German or in any regional dialects.
2 Strauss: "auch"

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) , "Sant Miquel", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Saint Michael", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Saint Michel", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Alberto Pedrotti , Bertram Kottmann

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 143

Saint Michael
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A repast for us and a light for you,
the dead sleep forever,
the field lies barren.
What’s in a name?  Whether an army of spirits, or you.
Strength is everything, coupled with faith --
Saint Michael, salva nos!

The wind blows sharply from the west,
from the east a storm brings the plague,
and all the devils are loose.
Even if the wine now freezes,
and shall freeze on us in May --
Saint Michael, salva nos!

Archangel strong and slayer of dragons,
teach us how to challenge the dragon
Fiercely with blows and jabs.
You bright of hair and blackly braced,
Everything that is German serves you in silence --
Saint Michael, salva nos!

A repast for us and a light for you,
the dead sleep forever,
the field lies barren.
Let us not speak of Germany’s honour,
To be prepared, struggling, that is more --
Saint Michael, salva nos!

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: 2014-09-25
Line count: 24
Word count: 148