by Eduard Mörike (1804 - 1875)
Translation © by Shawn Thuris

Die Geister am Mummelsee
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE FRE ITA
Vom Berge was kommt dort um Mitternacht spät
Mit Fackeln so prächtig herunter?
Ob das wohl zum Tanze, zum Feste noch geht?
Mir klingen die Lieder so munter.
  O nein! 
So sage, was mag es wohl sein?

Das, was du siehest, ist Totengeleit,
Und was du da hörest, sind Klagen.
Dem König, dem Zauberer, gilt es zu Leid,
Sie bringen ihn wieder getragen.
  O weh! 
So sind es die Geister vom See!

Sie schweben herunter in's Mummelseetal --
Sie haben die See schon betreten --
Sie rühren und netzen den Fuß nicht einmal --
Sie schwirren in leisen Gebeten --
  O schau' 
Am Sarge die glänzende Frau!

Jetzt öffnet der See das grünspiegelnde Tor;
Gieb Acht, nun tauchen sie nieder!
Es schwankt eine lebende Treppe hervor,
Und -- drunten schon summen die Lieder.
  Hörst du? 
Sie singen ihn unten zur Ruh'.

Die Wasser, wie lieblich sie brennen und glühn!
Sie spielen in grünendem Feuer;
Es geisten die Nebel am Ufer dahin,
Zum Meere verzieht sich der Weiher --
  Nur still!
Ob dort sich nichts rühren will?

Es zuckt in der Mitten -- o Himmel! ach hilf!
Nun kommen sie wieder, sie kommen!
Es orgelt im Rohr, und es klirret im Schilf;
Nur hurtig, die Flucht nur genommen!
  Davon!
sie wittern, sie haschen mich schon!

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) , "Els esperits del llac Mummel", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Shawn Thuris) , "The spirits on Lake Mummel", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Qui descend là-bas de la montagne à minuit", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Stéphane Goldet) (Pierre de Rosamel) , "Les esprits au lac de Mummel", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Gli spiriti del lago Mummel", copyright © 2013, (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 10:01:42
Line count: 36
Word count: 207

The spirits on Lake Mummel
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
What comes from the mountain at midnight so late
And carries such glittering torches?
Perhaps they are bound for a dance or a feast?
The songs seem to ring out so joyful.
  Oh, no!
Pray tell, then, what might all this be?

What you see here is a funeral train;
The sound that you hear, lamentation.
The king, a magician, they lay him to rest,
They bring him, they carry him back.
  Oh, dear!
It must be the ghosts of the lake!

They float in the vale of the flowery lake -
Already they step on its surface -
Their feet do not stir it and never get wet -
They rustle in soft-spoken prayers -
  Oh, look!
At the coffin the luminous She!

And now the lake opens a shining green gate;
Look sharp, they are now going under!
A staircase, alive, wavers out from the depths,
And songs are soon humming beneath.
  Oh, hear!
They sing him to rest now below.

The waters, how lovely they sparkle and burn!
They sport in a green-tinted fire;
The mist, like a wraith, hovers over the shore,
The pond is changed into a sea,
  So calm!
Will nothing else stir itself there?

It shakes in the middle - dear heavens!  oh, help!
They're all coming back, they are coming!
They clank in the cattails and call in the reeds;
Now spryly take flight while you can!
  Away!
They'll scent me and snatch at me soon!

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Shawn Thuris, (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

 

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:42
Line count: 36
Word count: 244