by Joseph Viktor von Scheffel (1826 - 1886)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Das ist im Leben häßlich eingerichtet
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ITA
Das ist im Leben [häßlich]1 eingerichtet,
Daß bei den Rosen gleich die Dornen steh'n,
Und was das [arme Herz]2 auch sehnt und dichtet,
[Zum Schluße]3 kommt das Voneinandergehn.
In deinen Augen hab' ich einst gelesen,
Es blitzte drin von Lieb' und Glück ein Schein:
  Behüt' dich Gott, es wär so schön gewesen,
  Behüt' dich Gott, es hat nicht sollen sein! -- 

Leid, Neid und Hass, auch ich hab' sie empfunden,
Ein sturmgeprüfter, müder Wandersmann.
Ich träumt' von Frieden dann und stillen Stunden,
Da führte mich der Weg zu dir hinan.
In deinen Armen wollt' ich ganz genesen,
Zum Danke dir mein junges Leben weih'n!
  Behüt' dich Gott!  Es wär zu schön gewesen!
  Behüt' dich Gott!  Es hat nicht sollen sein! --

[Die Wolken flieh'n]4, der Wind [saust]5 durch die Blätter,
Ein Regenschauer zieht durch Wald und Feld,
Zum Abschiednehmen just das rechte Wetter;
Grau, wie der Himmel, steht vor mir die Welt.
Doch wend' es sich zum Guten oder Bösen,
[Du schlanke Maid, in]6 Treuen denk' ich dein:
  Behüt' dich Gott, es wär so schön gewesen,
  Behüt' dich Gott, es hat nicht sollen sein! --

F. Abt sets stanzas 1, 3
E. Meyer-Helmund sets stanzas 1, 3
H. Pfitzner sets stanzas 1, 3

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Hamma: "schmerzlich"; further changes may exist not shown above.
2 Pfitzner: "Menschenhertz"
3 Meyer-Helmund: "Am Ende"
4 Abt, Meyer-Helmund, Pfitzner: "Wolken entfliehn"
5 Pfitzner: "rauscht"
6 Abt, Meyer-Helmund, Pfitzner: "Mein Leben lang in"

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 (Sharon Krebs) , "Song of Young Werner (It was not to be)", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Virginia Woods, Mrs. John P. Morgan) , "Young Werner"
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , from Il trombettiere di Säckingen, copyright © 2009, (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 10:01:48
Line count: 24
Word count: 182

Song of Young Werner (It was not to be)
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
It is poorly arranged in life
That with the roses one immediately finds thorns.
And whatever a poor heart desires and dreams -
In the end comes parting.
I once read in your eyes;
A light of love and joy glinted in them.
  May God protect you!  It would have been too beautiful!
  May God protect you!  It was not to be!

Pain, envy and hatred, I too have felt them,
[I], a storm-tried, tired wanderer.
I dreamed of peace then and of quiet hours;
Then my pathway led me up to you.
In your arms I wanted to recover completely,
In thanks [I wanted] to dedicate my young life to you!
  May God protect you!  It would have been too beautiful!
  May God protect you!  It was not to be!

The clouds rush past, the wind rustles loudly through the leaves,
A shower of rain passes over forest and field:
Just the right sort of weather for taking farewell,
The world stands before me, as grey as the sky.
But no matter how my life turns out, whether good or bad,
You slender maiden, I shall think of you in faithfulness.
  May God protect you!  It would have been too beautiful!
  May God protect you!  It was not to be!

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2006 by Sharon Krebs, (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: 2006-11-15 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:19
Line count: 24
Word count: 211