by Georg Trakl (1887 - 1914)
Translation © by Walter A. Aue

Verfall
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG FRE ITA
Am Abend, wenn die Glocken Frieden läuten,
Folg' ich der Vögel wundervollen Flügen,
Die lang geschart, gleich frommen Pilgerzügen,
Entschwinden in den herbstlich klaren Weiten.

Hinwandelnd durch den dämmervollen Garten
Träum' ich nach ihren helleren Geschicken
Und fühl' der Stunden Weiser kaum mehr rücken.
So folg' ich über Wolken ihrer Fahrten.

Da macht ein Hauch mich von Verfall erzittern.
Die Amsel klagt in den entlaubten Zweigen.
Es schwankt der rote Wein an rostigen Gittern.

Indes wie blasser Kinder Todesreigen
Um dunkle Brunnenränder, die verwittern,
Im Wind sich fröstelnd blaue Astern neigen.

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 [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Decay", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Bertram Kottmann) , "Decay", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Décomposition", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Decadenza", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 91

Decay
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
On evenings, when the bells of peace are ringing,
I watch the birds' miraculous migration
outstretched in queues, like prilgrims to salvation,
through autumn's clear expanses southward winging;

and strolling through a garden filled by twilight
I dream their fates across the heavens dancing
and hardly feel the hand of time advancing
beyond the clouds on travel through the skylight.

Then shudder I at breaths of waste arraying:
the blackbird wailing in denuded branches,
the crimson vines from rusty fences swaying,

while, like a pallid childrens' dying dances
around the well's dark rim of stones decaying,
blue shiv'ring asters bend in wind's advances.

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

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2010-03-26
Line count: 14
Word count: 103