by Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810 - 1876)
Translation © by Daniel Platt

Die Mohrenfürstin
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Fern tobt der Kampf im Palmental!
Sie aber bereitet daheim das Mahl;
Sie füllt den Becher mit Palmensaft,
Umwindet mit Blumen der Zeltstäbe Schaft.

Mit Perlen, die Persia's Meerfluth gebar,
Durchflicht sie das krause schwarze Haar,
Schmückt die Stirne mit wallenden Federn rund
Und den Hals und die [Arme]1 mit Muscheln bunt.

Sie setzt sich vor des Geliebten Zelt;
Sie lauscht, wie ferne das Kriegshorn gellt.
Der Mittag brennt, und die Sonne sticht,
Die Kränze welken, sie achtet's nicht.

Die Sonne sinkt, und der Abend siegt;
Der Nachttau rauscht, und der Glühwurm fliegt.
Aus dem lauen Strom blickt das Krokodil,
Als ob es der Kühle geniessen will.

Es regt sich der Leu und brüllt nach Raub,
Elefanten rudel durch rauschen das Laub.
Die Giraffe sucht des Lagers Ruh',
Augen und Blumen schliessen sich zu.

Ihr Busen schwillt vor Angst empor;
Da naht ein flüchtiger blutender Mohr.
»Verloren die Hoffnung! verloren die Schlacht!
Dein Buhle gefangen, gen Westen gebracht!

Ans Meer! ans Meer! den blanken Menschen verkauft!«
Da stürzt sie zur Erde, das Haar zerrauft,
Die Perlen zerdrückt sie mit zitternder Hand,
Birgt die glühende Wange im glühenden Sand.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Josef Greindl sings "Stirne" here.

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 (Daniel Platt) , "The Moorish Princess", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 28
Word count: 188

The Moorish Princess
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
So rages the fight in the palmy vale!
But she is at home, preparing the meal;
With nectar of palms she fills the carafe,
And garlands with flowers the tent-pole staff.

From Persia's tide, the pearls so rare
She braids in her black and kinky hair,
With dangling feathers she spangles her brow,
And her neck and her arm with bright mussels now.

She sits down before the Belovèd's tent,
And hearkens how far the war-bugle went.
The mid-day burns and the sun doth sting:
The wreath, it wilts, but she sees not a thing.

The sun sinks down, and then triumphs the night;
Comes dew, and the light'ning bug's in flight.
In the tepid stream blinks the crocodile,
Like he wants to enjoy the cool awhile.

The lion is aroused with a predator's roar,
And elephants rummage the jungle floor.
Giraffes seek a peaceful shelter tonight,
Eyelids and flowers are closed up tight.

Her bosom rises and heaves with fear;
A bloodied and fugitive Moor draws near.
"Lost is the battle! Our hopes are oppressed!
Thy lover is captured, and brought to the west!

To the sea! He was sold to the White Ones there!"
Then she tumbles to earth and dishevells her hair,
She crushes the pearls with a trembling hand,
And her burning cheeks buries in burning sand.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2005 by Daniel Platt, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., please ask the copyright-holder(s) directly.

    Daniel Platt.  Contact: abelard2 (AT) aol (DOT) com


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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2005-07-27
Line count: 28
Word count: 221