by Georg Trakl (1887 - 1914)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

St. Peters‑Friedhof
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Ringsum ist Felseneinsamkeit.
Des Todes bleiche Blumen schauern
auf Gräbern, die im Dunkel trauern -
doch diese Trauer hat kein Leid.

Der Himmel lächelt still herab
in diesen traumverschlossnen Garten,
wo stille Pilger seiner warten,
es wacht das Kreuz auf jedem Grab.

Die Kirche ragt wie ein Gebet
vor einem Bilde ewiger Gnaden,
manch Licht brennt unter den Arkaden,
das stumm für arme Seelen fleht --

Indes die Bäume blüh'n zur Nacht,
daß sich des Todes Antlitz hülle
in ihrer Schönheit schimmernde Fülle,
die Tote tiefer träumen macht.

Confirmed with Gudrun Susanne Littek, Existenz als Differenz: der "Dichter" im Werk Georg Trakls, Marburg, Tectum Verlag, 1995, page 28.


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):

  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) , "St. Peter's Graveyard", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Cimetière de Saint Pierre", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Bertram Kottmann , Maria Nimmerfall

This text was added to the website: 2010-11-05
Line count: 16
Word count: 87

St. Peter's Graveyard
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
All round a solitude twixt stones. 
The pallid flowers of death do shudder 
on gravesites mourning in the darkness - 
this mourning, yet, is without pain. 

The heavens silently smile down
into this dream-enclosèd garden, 
where silent pilgrims wait with reverence. 
The cross, a guard upon each grave. 

The chapel rises like a prayer 
before an icon of grace eternal, 
some candles burn under the arcades 
and mutely plead for the poor souls - 

meanwhile the trees blossom by night 
the countenance of death to shroud in
their beauty's glimmering abundance,
which makes the dead dream deeper yet.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 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

 

This text was added to the website: 2016-06-07
Line count: 16
Word count: 98