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Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Mit unserm Arm ist nichts gethan
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Mit unserm Arm ist nichts gethan;
Steht uns der Mächtige nicht bey,
Der Alles ausführt!

Umsonst entflammt uns kühner Muth;
Wenn uns der Sieg von dem nicht wird,
Der Alles ausführt!

Vergebens fliesset unser Blut
Fürs Vaterland; wenn der nicht hilft,
Der Alles ausführt!

Vergebens sterben wir den Tod
Fürs Vaterland; wenn der nicht hilft,
Der Alles ausführt!

Ström' hin, o Blut, [und tödt', o Tod
Fürs Vaterland]1! [Wir trauen dem]2,
Der Alles ausführt!

Auf! in den [Flammendampf]3 hinein!
Wir [lächelten]4 dem Tode zu,
[Und]5 lächeln, Feind', [euch]6 zu!

[Der]7 Tanz, den unsre Trommel schlägt,
[Der laute schöne]8 Kriegestanz,
Er tanzet hin nach euch!

Die dort trompeten, hauet ein,
Wo unser rother Stahl das Thor
Euch weit hat aufgethan!

Den Flug, den die Trompete bläst,
Den lauten schönen Kriegesflug,
[Fliegt,]9 fliegt ihn schnell hinein!

Wo unsre Fahnen vorwärts wehn,
Da weh auch die Standart hinein,
Da siege Roß und Mann!

Seht ihr den hohen weissen Hut?
Seht ihr das aufgehobne Schwerdt?
Des Feldherrn Hut und Schwerdt?

Fern' ordnet er die kühne Schlacht,
Und jezo da's Entscheidung gilt,
Thut ers dem Tode nah.

Durch ihn, und uns ist nichts gethan;
Steht uns der Mächtige nicht bey,
Der Alles ausführt!

[Dort dampft es noch. Hinein! hinein!
Wir [lächelten]4 dem Tode zu!
Und lächeln, Feind', [euch]6 zu!]10

R. Schumann sets stanzas 1-3, 6-8, 11-14

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Oden von Klopstock. WIEN, gedruckt bey Joh. Thomas Edlen von Trattnern, k.k. Hofdruckern und Buchhändlern. 1784, pages 68-70; and with Klopstocks Oden. Erster Band. Leipzig bey Georg Joachim Göschen. 1798, pages 255-257.

Note: The title is Schlachtgesang in the 1784 edition, and Schlachtlied in the 1798 and subsequent editions.

1 Schubert (D.912 only): "fürs Vaterland, / Und tödt', o Tod"
2 Schubert (D.443 only): "wenn der nicht hilft"
3 Schumann: "Flammentod"
4 Schubert (D.912 only): "lächeln kühn"
5 Schubert (D.912 only): "Wir"
6 Schubert (D.443 only): "dir"
7 Schubert (D.912 only): "Den"
8 Schubert (D.912 only): "Den lauten schönen"
9 Schubert (D.912 only): "O"
10 Schumann rearranged the last stanza as follows:
Wir lächelten dem Tode zu
Und lächeln, Feind', euch zu!
Hinein, hinein! Dort dampft es noch, 
Hinein, hinein! Hurrah!

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) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Gezang op het slagveld", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 42
Word count: 214

Nothing can be done by our arm
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Nothing can be done by our arm
Unless the mighty one stands by us,
He who carries everything out.

There is no point us being inflamed with keen courage
Unless we rely on victory from him,
He who carries everything out.

In vain does our blood flow
For the fatherland, if he does not help us,
He who carries everything out.

In vain do we die
For the fatherland, if he does not help us,
He who carries everything out.

Flow on, blood, and die, death,
For the fatherland! [We put our trust in him]1,
He who carries everything out.

Up! Into the flaming smoke!
We have laughed at death
And, enemy, we laugh at you too!

The dance that our drum is beating out,
The beautiful loud war dance,
It is being danced in your direction!

Strike at those who are blowing trumpets
Where our red steel attacked the gate
And made it open wide!

The flight being signalled by the trumpets,
The beautiful loud flight in war,
Let them flee, fly off quickly!

Where our flages are waving us forward
Where our standard is leading us,
That is where horses and men will be victorious!

Can you see the white hat up high?
Can you see the sword held up?
The Field Marshal's hat and sword?

In the distance he is ordering us into enthusiastic battle,
And now the order has come into effect,
Bringing death closer.

Through him and us nothing gets done
Unless the mighty one stands by us,
He who carries everything out.

The smoke is rising over there now! Into battle! Into battle!
We have laughed at death
And, enemy, we laugh at you too!

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View original text (without footnotes)

Translations of title(s):
"Schlachtlied" = "Battle song"
"Schlachtgesang" = "Battle song"

1 Schubert: "if he does not help us"

Authorship:

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 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: 2017-08-17
Line count: 42
Word count: 281