by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation © by Gary Bachlund (b. 1947)

König David
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Lächelnd scheidet der Despot,
Denn er weiß, nach seinem Tod
Wechselt Willkür nur die Hände,
Und die Knechtschaft hat kein Ende.

Armes Volk! wie Pferd und Farrn
Bleibt es angeschirrt am Karrn,
Und der Nacken wird gebrochen,
Der sich nicht bequemt den Jochen.

Sterbend spricht zu Salomo
König David: [Apropos,]1
Daß ich Joab dir empfehle,
Einen meiner Generäle.

Dieser tapfre General
Ist seit Jahren mir fatal,
Doch ich wagte den Verhaßten
Niemals ernstlich anzutasten.

Du, mein Sohn, bist fromm und klug,
Gottesfürchtig, stark genug,
Und es wird dir [leicht]2 gelingen,
[Jenen]3 Joab umzubringen.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Mendelssohn: "Apropos!"
2 Mendelssohn: "schon"
3 Mendelssohn: "Diesen"

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 (Gary Bachlund) , "King David", written 2010, copyright © 2010, (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: 20
Word count: 93

King David
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Smiling fails the tyrant,
For he knows, after his death,
Power only changes hands
And slavery has no end.

Poor people! like horse and groom
Remain harnessed to the cart,
And necks will be broken,
If they consent not to their yoke.

Dying speaks Solomon to
King David: "And for this,
I recommend to you, Joab,
One of my generals.

"This gallant general
Has been working secretly against me,
But against this hated one
I never acted in earnest.

"You, my son, are pious and wise,
God-fearing, strong enough
And in time you can easily
Kill one like a Joab."

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):

    [ None yet in the database ]


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2011-12-28
Line count: 20
Word count: 100