Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Viel tausend Sterne prangen
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Viel tausend Sterne prangen
am Himmel still und schön,
und wecken mein Verlangen,
hinaus [ins]1 Feld zu gehn.

O, ewig schöne Sterne,
in ewig gleichem Lauf,
wie blick' ich stets so gerne
zu [eurem]2 Glanz hinauf! -

Doch horch! was schallt für ein Ton in mein Ohr!
Doch sieh! was hebt für ein Licht sich empor!
Was fliegen [gen]3 Himmel für leuchtende Flammen!
Was schlagen für kämpfende Gluthen zusammen!
Was sprühen für glühende Funken umher!
Was saust in der Luft für ein brausendes [Wehr]4!

Ein prachtvoll künstliches Spiel ist begonnen:
es drehen im Kreise sich stralende Sonnen!
es leuchten, wie Monde, in silberner Pracht
[hellglänzende]5 Kugeln im Dunkel der Nacht;
es wachsen, in wunderbar wechselnden Farben,
aus kaltem Boden viel feurige Garben;
es schleudern die Schwärmer, in taumelnder Wuth,
nach allen Seiten die donnernde Gluth;
es zischen und rasen empor die Raketen,
zu löschen den schimmernden Schweif des Kometen,
die [stolzaufgerichteten]6 Schlagen, sie spei'n
[hellloderndes]7 Feu'r in den Himmel hinein,
und zitternd kommen dann Heere von Funken,
wie fallende Sterne, zur Erde gesunken.

Und wechselnd wecken den Wiederhall
Kanonendonner und Paukenschall,
und laut in die ernsten und lustigen Klänge
ertönt das Jauchzen der staunenden Menge.
Am Himmel das siegend beschämte Heer
der schweigenden Sterne sieht Niemand mehr!
Doch, stolz auf errungenen Lorbeer, schreitet
der Künstler daher, der [das alles]8 bereitet;
und Tausende huldigen, frank und frei,
dem Helden des Tages mit Jubelgeschrei. -

Aber [aus ist schnell]9 das schöne
angestaunte Feuerspiel;
stumm sind schon die Jubeltöne;
kurz war dieses Jubels Ziel.

Und der Held, der stolz entzündet
tausend heller Flammen Pracht,
geht von dannen, und verschwindet
still im Dunkel stiller Nacht.

Von den stolzen Meteoren
nirgends mehr die kleinste Spur,
denn ein flüchtges Spiel der Horen
war ihr flüchtger Schimmer nur.

Aber hell in dunkler Ferne -
nur beschämt [von eitlem]10 Wahn -
ziehn die ewig schönen Sterne
unverändert ihre Bahn.

Ihrer schönen Stralenkronen
unerreichte, stille Pracht
wird, wie heute, nach Aeonen
leuchten noch in dunkler Nacht.

Und in ihren Schimmer treten
wird noch dann des Staubes Sohn,
um entzückt hinauf zu beten
zu des ewgen Geistes Thron.

Erd' und Himmelspracht verkünden:
"Alles Menschenwerk vergeht!
Held und Meteor verschwinden!
Nur, was göttlich ist, besteht!"

F. Schubert sets stanzas 1-2

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Zeitung für die elegante Welt. Siebenter Jahrgang. 1807. Leipzig, bei Georg Voß. No.184. Dienstags den 17. Novbr. 1807, pages 1467-1468; and with Gesammelte Schriften von A. G. Eberhard. Achtzehntes Bändchen. Halle, Rengersche Verlagsbuchhandlung. 1830, pages 41-45.

1 Schubert: aufs
2 Eberhard (1830 edition): "euerm"
3 Eberhard (1830 edition): "zum"
4 Eberhard (1830 edition): "Meer"
5 Eberhard (1830 edition): "hell glänzende"
6 Eberhard (1830 edition): "stolz aufgerichteten"
7 Eberhard (1830 edition): "hell loderndes"
8 Eberhard (1830 edition): "Alles"
9 Eberhard (1830 edition): "schnell ist aus"
10 Eberhard (1830 edition): "vom eiteln"

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) , "Milers d’estrelles resplendeixen", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Ontelbare sterren pralen", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Plusieurs milliers d'étoiles brillent", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Lau Kanen [Guest Editor] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2012-01-25
Line count: 66
Word count: 364

Many thousands of stars are shining...
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Many thousands of stars are shining resplendently
in the sky, silent and beautiful,
and they awaken my desire
to go out into the fields.

Oh, eternally beautiful star,
eternally following the same course,
how much I always enjoy looking
up to your glowing light! - 

But listen! What a note is ringing in my ears!
But look! What a light is rising up there!
What blazing flames are flying up into the sky!
What beating together of battling embers there is!
What flashing around of glowing sparks there is!
What a roaring fight is reverberating in the air!

A majestic artistic performance has begun:
shining suns are spinning in a circle!
Like moons in silver splendour comes light
from brightly shining bullets in the darkness of the night;
in wonderfully changing colours appear
many fiery beams out of the cold earth;
the jumping jacks are spinning in a giddy fury,
there is a thundering glow from all sides;
rockets race up with a whizz
to extinguish the shimmering tail of the comet,
the proudly erect snakes spitting
brightly blazing fire up into the sky,
and then an army of sparks comes quaking
like falling stars sinking to earth.

And things change as an echo emerges
From the thunder of the cannon and the beating of the drums,
and loud amongst the earnest and delighted sounds
rings out the rejoicing of the astonished crowd.
In the sky the increasingly embarrassed host
of silent stars is no longer visible to anyone!
However, proudly onto the laurels awarded him steps
forward the artist, the one who had prepared it all;
and thousands pay homage to him, sincerely and freely,
raising a cry of jubilation to the hero of the day. - 

But it is soon over, the beautiful,
astonishing firework display;
the notes of jubilation are now silent;
the end point of this celebration was short.

And the hero, who proudly ignited
the splendour of a thousand bright flames,
goes away from there, and disappears
quietly into the darkness of a silent night.

Of those proud meteors
there remains not the slightest trace,
for they were a transitory game on the part of the fates,
their glow was only transitory.

But bright in the dark distance - 
simply embarrassed by this futile madness - 
the eternally beautiful stars follow
their course unchanged.

Their beautiful beaming crowns,
their unattainable quiet splendour
will, aeons from now, like today, 
continue to shed light into the darkness of night.

And stepping into their shimmering light
even then will come the son of dust,
who, in order to be delighted, will pray
before the throne of the eternal spirit.

The splendours of earth and heaven declare:
"All human works will pass away!
Heroes and meteors will disappear!
Only what is divine will remain!"

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Das Feuerwerk" = "The fireworks"
"Viel tausend Sterne prangen" = "Many thousands of stars are shining resplendently"


Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 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: 2018-10-30
Line count: 66
Word count: 465