Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Ballade des äußeren Lebens
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA
Und Kinder wachsen auf mit tiefen Augen,
Die von nichts wissen, wachsen auf und sterben,
Und alle Menschen gehen ihre Wege.

Und süße Früchte werden aus den herben
Und fallen nachts wie tote Vögel nieder
Und liegen wenig Tage und verderben.

Und immer weht der Wind, und immer wieder
Vernehmen wir und reden viele Worte
Und spüren Lust und Müdigkeit der Glieder.

Und Straßen laufen durch das Gras, und Orte
Sind da und dort, voll Fackeln, Bäumen, Teichen,
Und drohende, und totenhaft verdorrte ...

Wozu sind diese aufgebaut? und gleichen
Einander nie? und sind unzählig viele?
Was wechselt Lachen, Weinen und Erbleichen?

Was frommt das alles uns und diese Spiele,
Die wir doch groß und ewig einsam sind
Und wandernd nimmer suchen irgend Ziele?

Was frommt's, dergleichen viel gesehen haben?
Und dennoch sagt der viel, der "Abend" sagt,
Ein Wort, daraus Tiefsinn und Trauer rinnt

Wie schwerer Honig aus den hohlen Waben.

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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Ballata della vita esteriore", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "The ballad of external life", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Ballade de la vie extérieure", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Harry Joelson

This text was added to the website: 2007-07-28
Line count: 22
Word count: 152

The ballad of external life
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
And children grow up with deep eyes,
That know of nothing, grow up and die,
And all humankind goes its ways.

And sweet fruits emerge from the bitter [fruits]
And fall down at night like dead birds
And lie for a few days and spoil.

And the wind blows ever, and ever again
We hear and speak many words
And perceive joy and tiredness of our limbs.

And streets run through the grass, and towns
Are here and there, full of torches, trees, ponds,
And threatening ones, and deathly withered ones . . .

Wherefore are these built? and resemble
Each other never? and are innumerably many?
Why do laughing, crying, dying alternate?

Of what use is all of this to us and these games,
We who are hugely and eternally lonely
And wander, never seeking any goals?

Of what use is it to have seen many of such things?
And yet, he who says "evening" says much,
A word, from which profundity and sorrow flow

Like heavy honey from the hollow honeycombs.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2010 by Sharon Krebs, (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: 2010-05-29
Line count: 22
Word count: 173