by Nelly Sachs (1891 - 1970)
Translation © by John Glenn Paton

Schmetterling
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Welch schönes Jenseits
ist in deinen Staub gemalt.
Durch den Flammenkern der Erde,
durch ihre steinerne Schale
wurdest du gereicht,
Abschiedswebe in der Vergänglichkeiten Maß.

Schmetterling
aller Wesen gute Nacht!
Die Gewichte von Leben und Tod
senken sich mit deinen Flügeln
auf die Rose nieder
die mit dem heimwärts reifenden Licht welkt.

Welch schönes Jenseits
ist in deinen Staub gemalt.
Welch Königszeichen
im Geheimnis der Luft.

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 (John Glenn Paton) , "Butterfly", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-06-24
Line count: 16
Word count: 66

Butterfly
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
What a beautiful afterlife
is painted in your dust.
Through the flaming core of earth,
through its stony shell,
you were led,
webs of farewell in the measure of transitory things.
 
Butterfly,
to all beings, good night!
The weights of life and death
sink down with your wings
upon the rose,
which withers with the light maturing homewards.
 
What a beautiful afterlife
is painted in your dust.
What royal sign
in the secret of the air.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2009 by John Glenn Paton, (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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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2009-08-06
Line count: 16
Word count: 76