by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Schmetterlinge im Spätsommer
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Die Zeit der vielen Falter ist gekommen,
Im späten Phloxduft taumelt sacht ihr Tanz.
Sie kommen schweigend aus dem Blau geschwommen,
Der Admiral, der Fuchs, der Schwalbenschwanz,
Der Kaisermantel und Perlmutterfalter,
Der scheue Taubenschwanz, der rote Bär,
Der Trauermantel und der Distelfalter.
Kostbar an Farben, Pelz- und samtbesetzt,
Juwelenschillernd schweben sie einher,
Prächtig und traurig, schweigsam und benommen,
Aus untergegangner Märchenwelt gekommen,
Fremdlinge hier, noch honigtaubenetzt
Aus paradiesischen, arkadischen Auen,
Kurzlebige Gäste aus dem Morgenland,
Das wir im Traum, verlorene Heimat, schauen
Und dessen Geisterbotschaft wir vertrauen
Als eines edleren Daseins holden Pfand.

Sinnbilder alles Schönen und Vergänglichen,
Des Allzuzarten und des Überschwenglichen,
Schwermütige und goldgeschmückte Gäste
An des betagten sommerkönigs Feste!

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, pages 322-323.


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 (Sharon Krebs) , "Butterflies in late summer", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2009-05-16
Line count: 21
Word count: 112

Butterflies in late summer
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The time of the multitude of butterflies has come;
Their dance whirls gently in the late-summer scent of phlox.
Silently they float hither from the blue,
The admiral, the small tortoiseshell, the old world swallowtail,
The silver-washed fritillary and Queen of Spain,
The shy hummingbird hawk-moth, the tiger moth,
The mourning cloak and the painted lady.
Sumptuously coloured, bordered with fur and velvet,
Glittering like jewels, they waft hither,
Resplendent and melancholy, taciturn and torpid,
Having come from a lost fairy-tale world,
Strangers here, still bedewed with honey
From paradisiacal, Arcadian meadows,
Short-lived guests from the Orient,
Which we see in a dream, our lost homeland,
And whose spirit message we trust
As the lovely pledge of a more noble existence.

Allegory of all that is beautiful and transient,
Of that which is all too delicate and that which is lavish,
Mournful and gold-bedecked guests
At the elderly Summer-King’s festival!

Authorship:

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 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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This text was added to the website: 2018-03-31
Line count: 21
Word count: 150