by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 - 1843)
Translation © by John H. Campbell

Der gefesselte Strom
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Was schläfst und träumst du, Jüngling, gehüllt in dich,
Und säumst am kalten Ufer, Geduldiger,
Und achtest nicht des Ursprungs, du, des
Oceans Sohn, des Titanenfreundes!

Die Liebesboten, welche der Vater schickt,
Kennst du die lebenatmenden Lüfte nicht?
Und trifft das Wort dich nicht, das hell von
Oben der wachende Gott dir sendet?

Schon tönt, schon tönt es ihm in der Brust, es quillt,
Wie, da er noch im Schosse der Felsen [spielt']1,
Ihm auf, und nun gedenkt er seiner
Kraft, der Gewaltige, nun, nun eilt er,

Der Zauderer, er spottet der Fesseln nun,
Und nimmt und bricht und wirft die Zerbrochenen
Im Zorne, spielend, da und dort zum
Schallenden Ufer und an der Stimme

Des Göttersohns erwachen die Berge rings,
Es regen sich die Wälder, es hört die Kluft
Den Herold fern und schaudernd regt im
Busen der Erde sich Freude wieder.

Der Frühling kommt; es dämmert das neue Grün;
Er aber wandelt hin zu Unsterblichen;
Denn nirgend darf er bleiben, als wo
Ihn in die Arme der Vater aufnimmt.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Hauer: "schlief"

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):

  • ENG English (John H. Campbell) , title 1: "The restrained stream", copyright ©, (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: 24
Word count: 171

The restrained stream
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 What do you dream as you sleep, youth wrapped,
 and hemmed in by the cold banks, patient one!
 And are you oblivious of your origin,
 you son of the Oceans, friend of Titan?
 
 That blessing, sent by the Father,
 know you nothing of the live-giving Air?
 And do you not heed the Word, that brightly
 from above the ever watchful God sends you?
 
 Ever it sounds, ever in the breast it sounds, it streams,
 As, when he still slept in the lap of the rocks,
 On he flows, and now he recognizes his strength,
 his might, now, now he, the waverer, hurries
 
 now he mocks the shackles, and takes and breaks
 and throws and shatters in his fury, playing,
 here and there to the resounding shore.  
 And heeding the call 
 
 this son of Gods awakens the mountains 'round,
 he moves the forests, he hears the gulf
 of the distant herald and shuddering
 in joy awakens the bosom of the earth again.
 
 The spring comes; the new green dawns;
 He wanders now with immortals;
 Because nowhere can he remain, and he
 is lifted into the arms of the Father.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by John H. Campbell, (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.
    Contact: 

Based on

 

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 189