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

Ode an Hölderlin
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Freund meiner Jugend, zu dir kehr ich voll Dankbarkeit
Manchen Abend zurück, wenn im Fliedergebüsch
Des entschlummerten Gartens
Nur der rauschende Brunnen noch tönt.

Keiner kennt dich, o Freund; weit hat die neuere Zeit
Sich von Griechenlands stillen Zaubern entfernt,
Ohne Gebet und entgöttert
Wandelt nüchtern das Volk im Staub.

Aber der heimlichen Schar innig Versunkener,
Denen der Gott die Seele mit Sehnsucht schlug,
Ihr erklingen die Lieder
Deiner göttlichen Harfe noch heut.

Sehnlich wenden wir uns, vom Tag Ermüdete,
Der ambrosischen Nacht deiner Gesänge zu,
Deren wehender Fittich
Uns beschattet mit goldenem Traum.

Ach, und glühender brennt, wenn dein Lied uns entzückt,
Schmerzlicher brennt nach der Vorzeit seligem Land,
Nach den Tempeln der Griechen
Unser ewiges Heimweh auf.

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, page 193.


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) , "Ode to Hölderlin", 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: 2007-06-02
Line count: 20
Word count: 119

Ode to Hölderlin
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Friend of my youth, to you I return full of gratitude
On many an evening, when in the lilac bushes
Of the slumbering garden
Only the rushing fountain still sounds.

No one knows you, oh friend; the newer era has
Distanced itself far from Greece’s quiet enchantments;
Without prayer and deprived of gods,
The people wander prosaically in the dust.

But for the secret band of devout contemplative ones,
Whose souls the god struck with yearning,
For them the songs of your
Divine harp still ring out today.

Yearningly we, wearied by the day,
Turn to the ambrosial night of your songs,
Whose wafting pinions
Shadow us with a golden dream.

Ah, and, when your song enraptures us, more glowingly,
More painfully, for the ancient blessed land,
For the temples of the Greeks
Our eternal homesickness flames.

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: 2018-05-28
Line count: 20
Word count: 137