Translation © by Emily Ezust

Lied des Verfolgten im Turm
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA SPA
Der Gefangene:
 Die Gedanken sind frei,
 Wer kann sie erraten?
 Sie rauschen vorbei
 Wie nächtliche Schatten.
 Kein Mensch kann sie wissen,
 Kein Jäger sie schießen;
 Es bleibet dabei,
 Die Gedanken sind frei.

Das Mädchen:
 Im Sommer ist gut lustig sein 
 Auf hohen wilden Heiden,
 Dort findet man grün Plätzelein,
 Mein herzverliebtes Schätzelein,
 Von dir mag ich nit scheiden. 

Der Gefangene:
 Und sperrt man mich ein
 Im finstern Kerker,
 Dies alles sind nur
 Vergebliche Werke;
 Denn meine Gedanken
 Zerreißen die Schranken
 Und Mauern entzwei,
 Die Gedanken sind frei.

Das Mädchen:
 Im Sommer ist gut lustig sein
 Auf hohen wilden Bergen;
 Man ist da ewig ganz allein,
 Man hört da gar kein Kindergeschrei,
 Die Luft mag einem da werden.

Der Gefangene:
 So sei es, wie es will,
 Und wenn es sich schicket,
 [Nur alles in der Still]1;
 Und was mich erquicket,
 Mein Wunsch und Begehren
 Niemand kann's [mir]2 wehren;
 Es bleibet dabei,
 Die Gedanken sind frei.

Das Mädchen:
 Mein Schatz, du singst so fröhlich hier
 Wie's Vögelein in dem Grase;
 Ich steh so traurig bei Kerkertür,
 Wär ich doch tot, wär ich bei dir,
 Ach, muß ich denn immer klagen?

Der Gefangene:
 Und weil du so klagst,
 Der Lieb ich entsage,
 Und ist es gewagt,
 So kann mich nicht plagen!
 So kann ich im Herzen
 Stets lachen, bald scherzen;
 Es bleibet dabei, 
 Die Gedanken sind frei.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Mahler: "nur all's in der Still'"
2 not set by Mahler.

Authorship

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

Set in a modified version by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Song of the persecuted man in the tower", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant du prisonnier dans la tour", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Canto del prigioniero nella torre", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elena María Accinelli) , "Canción del perseguido en la torre", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Jakob Kellner

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 54
Word count: 224

Song of the persecuted man in the tower
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
The prisoner:
 Thoughts are free,
 who can guess them?
 They rush past
 like nocturnal shadows.
 No man can know them,
 no hunter can shoot them;
 for it remains thus:
 thoughts are free.

The maiden:
 In summer it is good to be merry
 on high, wild meadows,
  where one finds a green little place;
 my heart's beloved treasure,
 I do not wish to part from you!

The prisoner:
 And if they lock me up
 in a dark dungeon,
 it is all only
 in vain that they try,
 for my thoughts
 rip apart the barriers
 and break the walls in two:
 thoughts are free!

The maiden:
 In summer it is good to be merry
 on high, wild mountains;
 one is always alone there;
 one hears no children shrieking,
 and the air is so inviting.

The prisoner:
 So may it be, just as it is;
 and if it is proper,
 may it be in silence;
 And what gladdens my heart,
 my wish and desire,
 no one can restrain;
 for it remains thus:
 thoughts are free.

The maiden:
 My darling, you sing so cheerfully here,
 as if you were a bird in the grass;
 and I stand so sadly by the dungeon door.
 If only I were dead, or if only I were with you!
 Alas! must I always lament?

The prisoner:
 And because you lament so,
 I will renounce love,
 and if I dare,
 then nothing will torment me.
 So in my heart
 I can always laugh and joke,
 for it remains thus:
 thoughts are free!

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


Based on

 

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 54
Word count: 253