by Maurice Baring (1874 - 1945)
Translation Singable translation by Rudolf Stephan Hoffmann (1878 - 1931)

The clown
Language: English 
There was once a poor clown all dressed in white,
  In a dungeon, chained to the bars ; 
And he danced all day, and he danced all night, 
  To the sound of the dancing stars. 

"O clown, silly clown, O why do you dance ? 
  You know you can never be free. 
You are tied by the leg to the strings of chance, 
  But you dance like captive flea." 

"My chain is heavy, my dungeon is dark, 
  I know I can never be free. 
In my heart, in my heart there's a dancing spark, 
  And the stars make music for me. 

"Oh ! muffle my cell and rivet my chains, 
  And fetter my feet and my hands, 
My soul is a horse of foam without reins. 
  That dances on deathless sands." 

Confirmed with The Collected Poems of Maurice Baring, London : John Lane, the Bodley Head; New York : John Lane Company, 1911, page 58.


Authorship

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: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2016-01-01
Line count: 16
Word count: 131

Der Narr
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
War ein armer Hanswurst in weißem Kleid,
musst' in Kerker und Ketten geh'n;
und er tanzt bei Tag und zu nächt'ger Zeit,
wenn die Sterne im Tanz sich dreh'n.

O Narr, dummer Narr, worauf du nur baust?
Fliehst nimmer aus dunklem Gelass,
bleibst gefesselt am Fuß von des Schicksals Faust,
und du tanz'st wie die Flieg' im Glas.

Schwer drückt die Kette mich armen Wicht,
dem nimmer die Freiheit lacht,
doch mein Herz, o mein Herz ist ein tanzend Licht,
und in Sternen singt mir die Nacht.

O lasst mich erstickt im finsteren Turm
und schmiedet in Ketten mich ganz;
die Seele ist frei und jagt mit dem Sturm
in seligen Höh'n zum Tanz.

From the Smyth 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)


Researcher for this text: Johann Winkler

This text was added to the website: 2020-09-29
Line count: 16
Word count: 114