Translation by Richard Flatter (1891 - 1960)

We are the music makers
Language: English 
We are the music makers,
   And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
   And sitting by desolate streams; 
World-losers and world-forsakers,
   On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
   Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
   We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
   We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
   Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
   Can trample a kingdom down.

We, in the ages lying
   In the buried past of the earth
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
   And Babel itself in our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
   To the old of the new world's worth
For each age is a dream that is dying,
   Or one that is coming to birth.

A breath of our inspiration
Is the life of each generation
   A wondrous thing of our dreaming
   Unearthly, impossible seeming...
The soldier, the king, and the peasant
   Are working together in one,
Till our dream shall become their present,
   And their work in the world be done.

They had no vision amazing
Of the goodly house they are raising;
   They had no divine foreshowing
   Of the land to which they are going:
But on one man's soul it hath broken,
   A light that doth not depart;
And his look, or a word he hath spoken,
   Wrought flame in another man's heart.

And therefore to-day is thrilling
With a past day's late fulfilling;
   And the multitudes are enlisted
   In the faith that their fathers resisted,
And, scorning the dream of to-morrow,
   Are bringing to pass, as they may,
In the world, for its joy or its sorrow,
   The dream that was scorned yesterday.

But we, with our dreaming and singing,
   Ceaseless and sorrowless we!
The glory about us clinging
   Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing;
   O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing,
   A little apart from ye.

For we are afar with the dawning
   And the suns that are not yet high,
 And out of the infinite morning
   Intrepid you hear us cry ...
How, spite of your human scorning,
   Once more God's future draws nigh,
And already goes forth the warning
   That ye of the past must die.

Great hail! we cry to the comers
   From the dazzling unknown shore;
Bring us hither your sun and your summers;
   And renew our world as of yore;
You shall teach us your song's new numbers,
   And things that we dreamed not before:
Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers,
   And a singer who sings no more.

H. Kerr sets stanza 1

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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):

Researcher for this text: Ahmed E. Ismail

This text was added to the website: 2004-07-04
Line count: 72
Word count: 452

Von der Macht der Dichter
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Wir sind die Sänger und Rufer,
Wir träumen tröstlichen Traum.
Wir wandern einsame Ufer
Und schaun auf den Wogen den Schaum.
	Der Welt sind wir taub, doch wir hör´n sie,
	Indes sie der Mond umzieht –
	Wir stoßen, stürzen, zerstör´n sie
	Und erbauen sie neu im Lied.

Der Sänger mit seinem Gedichte
Errichtet, was nie vergeht:
Aus Fabel, Sage, Geschichte
Ersteht eines Reichs Majestät.
	Die einen, ihr Glück zu erjagen,
	Greifen sich Kronen zum Raub;
	Andre, durch Singen und Sagen,
	Treten ein Reich in Staub.

Wir, in der Zeiten Schoße,
Wir trotzen, geborgen, dem Sturm,
Baun Ninive neu, das große,
Und türmen Babylons Turm.
	Und künden künftiges Erbe,
	Vor dem sich das alte verliert:
	Die Welt, im Wahn, daß sie sterbe,
	Sieht nie, wie sie neu sich gebiert.

Confirmed with Die Fähre, Englische Lyrik aus fünf Jahrhunderten Übersetzt von Richard Flatter, Walter Krieg Verlag, Wien-Bad Bocklet-Zürich, 1954, 2nd edition (1st edition 1936), page 184. Note: only the first three stanzas were translated.


Based on:

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

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Researcher for this text: Volkmar Henschel

This text was added to the website: 2021-02-25
Line count: 24
Word count: 128