by (Karl) Theodor Körner (1791 - 1813)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Du Schwerdt an meiner Linken
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Du Schwerdt an meiner Linken,
Was soll dein heitres Blinken?
Schaust mich so freundlich an,
Hab' meine Freude dran.
Hurrah!1

»Mich trägt ein wackrer Reiter,
Drum blink ich auch so heiter,
Bin freien Mannes Wehr,
Das freut dem Schwerdte sehr.«
Hurrah!

Ja, gutes Schwerdt frei bin ich,
Und liebe dich herzinnig,
Als wärst du mir getraut,
Als eine liebe Braut.
Hurrah!

»Dir hab ich's ja ergeben,
Mein lichtes Eisenleben.
Ach wären wir getraut!
Wann hohlst du deine Braut?«
Hurrah!

Zur Brautnachts Morgenröthe,
Ruft festlich die Trompete,
Wenn die Kanonen schrei'n,
Hohl ich das Liebchen ein.
Hurrah!

»O seeliges Umfangen!
Ich harre mit Verlangen.
Du Bräut'gam, hohle mich,
Mein Kränzchen bleibt für dich.«
Hurrah!

Was klirrst du in der Scheide,
Du helle Eisenfreude,
So wild, so schlachtenfroh?
Mein Schwerdt, was klingst du so?
Hurrah!

»Wohl klirr ich in der Scheide,
Ich sehne mich zum Streite,
Recht wild und schlachtenfroh.
Drum Reiter klirr ich so.«
Hurrah!

Bleib doch im engen Stübchen.
Was willst du hier, mein Liebchen?
Bleib still im Kämmerlein,
Bleib, bald hohl' ich dich ein.
Hurrah!

»Laß mich nicht lange warten!
O schöner Liebesgarten,
Voll Röslein blutigroth,
Und aufgeblühtem Tod!«
Hurrah!

So komm denn aus der Scheide,
Du Reiters Augenweide,
Heraus, mein Schwerdt, heraus!
Führ' dich ins Vaterhaus.
Hurrah!

»Ach herrlich ists im Freien,
Im rüst'gen Hochzeitreihen.
Wie glänzt im Sonnenstrahl
So bräutlich hell der Stahl!«
Hurrah!

Wohlauf, ihr kecken Streiter,
Wohlauf, ihr deutschen Reiter!
Wird euch das Herz nicht warm,
Nehmt's Liebchen in den Arm!
Hurrah!

Erst that es an der Linken,
Nur ganz verstohlen blinken,
Doch an die Rechte traut,
Gott sichtbarlich die Braut.
Hurrah!

Drum drückt den liebeheißen,
Bräutlichen Mund von Eisen,
An eure Lippen fest.
Fluch! wer die Braut verläßt.
Hurrah!

Nun laßt das Liebchen singen,
Daß helle Funken springen,
Der Hochzeitsmorgen graut -
Hurrah! du Eisenbraut!
Hurrah!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Leyer und Schwerdt von Theodor Körner Lieutenant im Lützow'schen Freikorps. Einzig rechtmäßige, von dem Vater des Dichters veranstaltete Ausgabe. Berlin, 1814. In der Nicolaischen Buchhandlung, pages 84-88; and with Theodor Körner's Gedichte. [Erster Theil.] Neueste Auflage. Wien 1815. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 163-166.

This poem, written in the night before his death in battle, Aug. 26, 1813, was first printed in Zwölf freie deutsche Gedichte von Theodor Körner Nebst einem Anhang. 1813, pages 50-54, edited by an anonymous friend (Leipzig, im November 1813), and differs in some ways from the version published 1814 in "Leyer und Schwerdt" by the poet's father.

1 Körner's note: "Bei dem Hurrah! wird mit den Schwerdtern geklirrt."

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Another version of this text exists in the database.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Zwaardlied", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Sword song", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant de l'épée", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Martin-Beatus Meier , Melanie Trumbull , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 80
Word count: 302

Sword song
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
You sword by my left hand,
Why are you gleaming so brightly?
You look at me in such a friendly way
And I respond with joy.
Hurrah!

"I am being worn by a valiant knight,
That is why I am gleaming so brightly,
I am the weapon of a free man,
Which makes the sword extremely happy."
Hurrah!

Yes, good sword, I am free
And I love you with all my heart,
As if you were betrothed to me
As a loving bride.
Hurrah!

"Yes, to you I have devoted
My bright iron life.
Oh, if only we were betrothed!
When would you claim your bride?"
Hurrah!

At dawn before the wedding night
The trumpets call out in celebration;
When the cannons cry
I will claim my beloved.
Hurrah!

"Oh blessed embrace!
I wait with longing.
You bridegroom, take me,
My garland is here waiting for you!"
Hurrah!

Why are you rattling in your sheath,
You bright iron joy,
So wild, so keen to go into battle?
My sword, why are you rattling like that?
Hurrah!

"I am happy rattling in my sheath,
I am longing to go into conflict,
Truly wild and keen for battle.
That's why, knight, I am rattling like this."
Hurrah!

Just wait in the narrow little room!
What do you want here, my beloved?
Remain here in this small room.
Stay, I will call for you soon.
Hurrah!

"Don't leave me here waiting any longer!
Oh beautiful garden of love,
Full of blood-red little roses
And blossoming death!"
Hurrah!

So come on out of the sheath,
You treat for a knight's eyes!
Come out, my sword, come out!
I shall lead you into our father's house.
Hurrah!

"Oh, it is magnificent to be in the open,
In the sprightly marriage procession!
It is glistening in the sunshine,
The steel is as bright as a bride!"
Hurrah!

Get up, you bold warriors,
Get up, you German knights!
Is not your heart getting warm?
Take your beloved in your arms!
Hurrah!

First it was just on the left
Receiving only furtive glances;
Then it was trusted in the right hand,
God wanting the bride fully visible.
Hurrah!

So press the love-hot
Bridal mouth of iron
Firmly to your lips!
Accursed be he who abandons his wife!
Hurrah!

Now let your beloved sing,
So that bright sparks leap
In the grey light of the wedding morning.
Hurrah! You iron bride!
Hurrah!

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Malcolm Wren, (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: 2016-09-10
Line count: 80
Word count: 403