by Johann Ludwig Uhland (1787 - 1862)
Translation Singable translation by Arthur Westbrook

Die Vätergruft
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): FRE
Es [ging]1 wohl über die Heide
Zur alten Kapell' empor
Ein Greis in Waffengeschmeide
Und trat in den dunkeln Chor.

Die Särge seiner Ahnen
Standen der Hall' entlang,
Aus der Tiefe thät ihn mahnen
Ein wunderbarer Gesang.

»Wohl hab' ich euer Grüßen,
Ihr Heldengeister, gehört;
Eure Reihe soll ich schließen.
Heil mir! ich bin es wert!«

Es stand an kühler Stätte
Ein Sarg noch ungefüllt;
Den nahm er zum Ruhebette,
Zum Pfühle nahm er den Schild.

Die Hände thät er falten
Aufs Schwert und [schlummert']2 ein;
Die Geisterlaute verhallten,
Da mocht' es gar stille sein.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Uhlands ausgewählte Gedichte, Fünfte Auflage, Stuttgart, Verlag der J. G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung, 1891, pages 17-18

Note: modernized spelling would change "thät" to "tät"
1 Liszt: "schritt"
1 Cornelius, Liszt: "schlummerte"

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] (Arthur Westbrook) , "The ancestral tomb"
  • FRE French (Français) (Jacques L'oiseleur des Longchamps) , "Crypte des ancêtres", 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: 2015-01-28 10:08:24
Line count: 20
Word count: 95

The ancestral tomb
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Across the plain to the chapel
There journey'd a wand'rer grim,
A gray old man clad in armor,
Who enter'd the chancel dim.

Beneath those arches slept
His ancestors in the tomb.
From it sounded wondrous singing,
Which fill'd the solemn gloom.

Ye spirits of dead heroes,
Your greeting heralds my death.
Of your race the last, I'm worthy;
All hail! I've held the faith.

A coffin chill and stony
He saw; 'twas yet unfill'd;
And there, as a couch, he laid him,
For pillow served him his shield.

Upon his sword he folded
His hands, and then fell asleep.
The spirit voices all vanish'd,
And peace reign'd in silence deep.

From a Liszt score.

Authorship

Based on

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

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Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2011-04-13 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:19
Line count: 20
Word count: 111