by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Knut W. Barde

Ritter Kurts Brautfahrt
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA
Mit des Bräutigams Behagen
Schwingt sich Ritter Kurt aufs Roß;
Zu der Trauung solls ihn tragen,
Auf der edlen Liebsten Schloß;
Als am öden Felsenorte
Drohend sich ein Gegner naht;
Ohne Zögern, ohne Worte
Schreiten sie zu rascher Tat.

Lange schwankt des Kampfes Welle,
Bis sich Kurt im Siege freut;
Er entfernt sich von der Stelle,
Überwinder und gebleut.
Aber was er bald gewahret
In des Busches Zitterschein!
Mit dem Säugling still gepaaret,
Schleicht ein Liebchen durch den Hain.

Und sie winkt ihm auf das Plätzchen:
Lieber Herr, nicht so geschwind!
Habt ihr nichts an Euer Schätzchen,
Habt ihr nichts für Euer Kind?
Ihn durchglühet süße Flamme,
Daß er nicht vorbei begehrt,
Und er findet nun die Amme,
Wie die Jungfrau, liebenswert.

Doch er hört die Diener blasen,
Denket nun der hohen Braut;
Und nun wird auf seinen Straßen
Jahresfest und Markt so laut,
Und er wählet in den Buden
Manches Pfand zu Lieb und Huld;
Aber ach! da kommen Juden
Mit dem Schein vertagter Schuld.

Und nun halten die Gerichte
Den behenden Ritter auf.
O verteufelte Geschichte!
Heldenhafter Lebenslauf!
Soll ich heute mich gedulden?
Die Verlegenheit ist groß.
Widersacher, Weiber, Schulden,
ach! Kein Ritter wird sie los.

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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Knut W. Barde) , title 1: "Kurt the Knight rides to his betrothal", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Il cavaliere Kurt si reca a nozze", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Le chevalier Kurt en route vers sa fiancée", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:30
Line count: 40
Word count: 198

Kurt the Knight rides to his betrothal
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
With a bridegroom's sense of pleasure,
Kurt the knight jumps on his steed;
to the betrothal it shall bear him,
to the castle of his noble love;
Just then in a barren rocky place
An adversary threatens and advances;
Without hesitation, without words,
They move towards rapid action.

The battle long remains uncertain,
until Kurt in victory rejoices;
He removes from this place,
A vanquishing and bruisèd knight.
But see what soon he spies
among the trembling verdant vines!
Still united with a suckling babe
A sweetheart creeps among the trees.

And she beckons him to come to her:
Dear Sir, don't leave just yet!
Don't you care about your little darling,
don't you have something for your child?
A sweet flame heats him through,
So that he can't defer desiring,
And for him the nursing woman,
Like the virgin, love's inspiring.1

But he hears the servants' bugles blow,
And thinks now of his noble bride;
And in his [sic] streets the clamor rises
from the noisy fair and celebration.
And from among the peddlers' stalls
He chooses tokens of true love and deep devotion;
But alas!  Some Jews now are a-coming
With paper proof of past due debts.

And now the courts detain
The nimble knight.
Oh! What bedeviled tale!
And such heroic life!
Why is patience due this very day?
The inconvenience is major.
Opponents, women, debts,
Oh! No knight can throw them off.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Alternative: "A sweet flame heats him through, / Such that he cannot pass on by, / And to him the nursing woman [literally wetnurse], / Like the virgin, lovable appears."

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 by Knut W. Barde, (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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Text added to the website: 2006-03-24 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:17
Line count: 40
Word count: 236