by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 - 1843)
Translation © by Walter A. Aue

Ihr wandelt droben im Licht
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG ENG ITA
Ihr wandelt droben im Licht
  Auf weichem Boden, selige Genien!
    Glänzende Götterlüfte
      Rühren euch leicht,
        Wie die Finger der Künstlerin
          Heilige Saiten.

Schicksallos, wie der schlafende
  Säugling, atmen die Himmlischen;
    Keusch bewahrt
      In bescheidener Knospe,
        Blühet ewig
          Ihnen der Geist,
            Und die seligen Augen
              Blicken in stiller
                Ewiger Klarheit.

Doch uns ist gegeben,
  Auf keiner Stätte zu ruh'n;
    Es schwinden, es fallen
      Die leidenden Menschen
        Blindlings von einer
          Stunde [zur]1 andern,
            Wie Wasser von Klippe
              Zu Klippe geworfen,
                Jahrlang in's Ungewisse hinab.

F. Cerha sets stanza 3

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Confirmed with Friedrich Hölderlin's Sämmtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Christoph Theodor Schwab, Erster Band: "Gedichte und Hyperion", Stuttgart und Tübingen, J. G. Cotta'scher Verlag, 1846, pages 122-123; note: the indentation shown above doesn't appear in this edition, but occurs in later editions.

Note: Hyperion is the title character of an unfinished novel in which Hölderlin wrote about the Greek struggle for independence from the Turks.

1 Cerha: "zu"

Authorship

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Cançó del destí", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Hyperions noodlotslied", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright © 1995
  • ENG English (John Glenn Paton) , "Hyperion's Song of Fate", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Hyperion's Song of Fate", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Canto del destino di Iperione", copyright © 2008, (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: 2018-08-12 13:24:41
Line count: 24
Word count: 82

Hyperion's Song of Fate
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Up there you walk through the light
  on delicate grounds, Elysian Spirits!
    Shimmering breezes of Gods
      touch you as softly
        as the hand of the harpist touches her
          sacrosanct strings.

Unencumbered by fate, like a slumbering
  newborn, are breathing the heavenly dwellers;
    chastely protected
      by a bud unassuming
        flowers for them
          eternal the spirit
            and their hallowéd eyes
              shine in serene
                clearness forever.

But to us it is given
  never and nowhere to rest:
    we suffering humans --
      vanishing, falling
        blindly from one
          hour to the next --
            are thrown like the water
              cliff down to cliff,
                yearlong down to an unknown abyss.

Authorship

  • Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2010 by Walter A. Aue, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Walter A. Aue.  Contact: waue (AT) dal (DOT) ca

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Text added to the website: 2010-03-26 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:37
Line count: 24
Word count: 101