by Christian Reinhold (1813 - 1856)
Translation by Joseph Snowe

Der alte Abt
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
  Dort in den [Klostertrümmern]1 geht 
Der alte Abt herum. 
Sein langer Bart im Winde weht, 
Der Rücken ward ihm krumm. 
Nicht mit den Augen sieht er mehr, 
Er tappt nur mit dem Stab. 
Was sucht er doch, was wandert er? 
Die Gräber zählt er ab. 

  Doch, wie er zählt und wie er späht,
Eins fehlt ihm immer noch.
Dann schüttelt er das Haupt und geht,
Kommt morgen wieder doch. 
Die eigne Ruhstatt find't er nicht,
Quält sich allnächtlich ab.
Wenn endlich ganz der Bau zerbricht,
Das ist des Treuen Grab.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with C. Reinhold, Gedichte, Stuttgart: Carl Mäcken, 1853, page 138. First published in the periodical Morgenblatt, January 6, 1836 (No. 5).

1 Breidenstein: "Klostermauern"

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 (Joseph Snowe) , no title
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The old abbot", copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2021-04-27
Line count: 16
Word count: 91

Sadly through yon graveyard creeps
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Sadly through yon graveyard creeps
  The abbot, old and hoar, 
His long beard in the nightwind sweeps, 
  His heart knows joy no more.

No more he hears -- no more he sees,
  A long staff guides his way; 
What seeks he there? why brave the breeze? 
  "He counts the graves," they say.

And ever as he counts, it seems
  As still were wanting one. 
He shakes his hoary head, and deems 
  Next day his race is run.

Not yet is made that couch, his own
  Warm tears his wan cheeks lave; 
When yon firm fabric's overthrown, 
  He'll only find his grave.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with: Joseph Snowe, The Rhine: Legends, Traditions, History from Cologne to Mainz, London: F.C. Westley, J. Madden & Co., 1839, page 232.


Authorship:

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):

    [ None yet in the database ]


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2021-05-02
Line count: 16
Word count: 100