by (Karl) Theodor Körner (1791 - 1813)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Leb' wohl! leb' wohl! ‑ Mit dumpfen...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Leb' wohl! leb' wohl! - Mit dumpfen Herzensschlägen
Begrüß'ich dich, und folge meiner Pflicht.
Im Auge will sich eine Thräne regen;
Was sträub' ich mich? die Thräne  schmäht mich nicht. -
Ach! wo ich wandle, sei's auf Friedenswegen,
Sei's wo der Tod die blut'gen Kränze bricht:
Da werden deine theuren Huldgestalten
In Lieb' und Sehnsucht meine Seele spalten.

Verkennt mich nicht, ihr Genien meines Lebens,
Verkennt nicht meiner Seele ernsten Drang.
Begreift die treue Richtung meines Strebens,
So in dem Liede, wie im Schwerdterklang.
Es schwärmten meine Träume nicht vergebens;
Was ich so oft gefeiert mit Gesang,
Für Volk und Freiheit ein begeistert Sterben:
Laßt mich nun selbst um diese Krone werben.

Wohl leichter mögen sich die Kränze flechten,
Errungen mit des Liedes heit'rem Muth:
Ein rechtes Herz schlägt freudig nach dem Rechten.
Die ich gepflegt mit jugendlicher Gluth,
Laßt mich der Kunst ein Vaterland erfechten,
Und gält es auch das eigne wärmste Blut. -
Noch diesen Kuß! und wenns der letzte bliebe,
Es giebt ja keinen Tod für unsre Liebe.

S. Franz sets stanza 1

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Leyer und Schwerdt von Theodor Körner Lieutenant im Lützow'schen Freikorps. Einzige rechtmäßige, von dem Vater des Dichters veranstaltete Ausgabe. Berlin, 1814. In der Nicolaischen Buchhandlung, pages 35-36.


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 (Laura Prichard) , "Shipping out from Vienna, in the year 1813 ", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Ferdinando Albeggiani , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2008-03-31 00:00:00
Last modified: 2018-01-07 17:00:43
Line count: 24
Word count: 171

Shipping out from Vienna, in the year 1813 
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Farewell! Farewell! - With throbbing heart
I salute you, and follow my duty.
In my eye, a tear wells up;
What am I resisting? The tears don't shame me. -
Alas! wherever I go, be it on peaceful paths,
or where Death’s bloody garlands bloom:
Your priceless, gentle forms remain,
rending my soul with love and longing.

Mistake me not, you Genii of my life, 
Mistake not my soul’s serious intent! 
Perceive the true meaning of my striving, 
In songs, as in the clang of swords. 
My dreams are not vain romanticism; 
That which I so often celebrated in song, 
For my people and for freedom, a enthusiastic death: 
Let me alone seek this crown.

Though it may be much easier to receive [victory] wreaths, 
Achievements [crowned] with songs praising cheerful courage;
A true heart happily battles for a just cause.
That which I nurtured with a youthful glow,
Let me contribute to the Fatherland,
[It is [even worth my own, warmest blood. -
One last kiss! And if it’s my last,
No Death can erase our love.

Translator's notes:
Line 1-1: "Farewell" - literally, “Live well,” meant to his Viennese admirers upon his departure for war.
Line 1-2: "duty" - Körner departed for the front a few weeks after meeting several Viennese composers, including Schubert, whom he encouraged to defy his parents and pursue music.
Line 1-6: Körner died at the Battle of Leipzig only a few weeks after writing this poem.
Line 1-7: "forms" - these include the sixteen-year-old Schubert and composer Stephan Franz, to whom he was introduced by Josef von Spaun.
Line 3-4: "That" - here the poet means both his art (poetry) and his life


Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Laura Prichard, (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

 

Text added to the website: 2020-01-06 00:00:00
Last modified: 2020-01-06 18:06:16
Line count: 24
Word count: 178