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by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)
Translation © by T. P. (Peter) Perrin

Du aber, Göttlicher, du, bis zuletzt...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Du aber, Göttlicher, du, bis zuletzt noch Ertöner,
da ihn der Schwarm der verschmähten Mänaden befiel,
hast ihr Geschrei übertönt mit Ordnung, du Schöner,
aus den Zerstörenden stieg dein erbauendes Spiel.

Keine war da, dass sie Haupt dir und Leier zerstör.
Wie sie auch rangen und rasten, und alle die scharfen
Steine, die sie nach deinem Herzen warfen,
wurden zu Sanftem an dir und begabt mit Gehör.

Schließlich zerschlugen sie dich, von der Rache gehetzt,
wahrend dein Klang noch in Löwen und Felsen verweilte
und in den Bäumen und Vögeln.  Dort singst du noch jetzt.

O du verlorener Gott!  Du unendliche Spur!
Nur weil dich reißend zuletzt die Feindschaft
verteilte, sind wir die Hörenden jetzt und ein Mund der Natur.

About the headline (FAQ)


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 [singable] (T. P. (Peter) Perrin) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-07-13
Line count: 14
Word count: 120

But you, immortal, your music forever...
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
But you, immortal, your music forever speaking,
when the maenads stormed you in fury no force could oppose:
o splendor, with order you drowned their shrieking;
from those destroyers your architecture rose.

None could crush your skull or break your lyre,
however they wrestled and raged; and every stone
that was sharp enough to cut your heart when thrown
grew soft when it neared you, and gifted with power to hear.

Revenge's target, they hunted you down in the end,
though in lions, in rocks, the sound of your music remained,
and in trees and in birds.  Where you'll sing into the future.

O vanished god!  Eternal connecting thread!
Only since hatred quartered you and spread
your remains are we a mouth and receptors for nature.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2009 by T. P. (Peter) Perrin, (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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2009-06-22
Line count: 14
Word count: 126