by Josef Kenner (1794 - 1868)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Ballade
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Ein Fräulein schaut vom hohen Thurm
Das weite Meer so bang;
Zum trauerschweren Zitherschlag
Hallt düster ihr Gesang;
"Mich halten Schloß und Riegel fest,
Mein Retter weilt so lang."

Sei wohl getrost, du edle Maid!
Schau hinterm Kreidenstein 
Treibt in der Buchtung Dunkelheit
Ein Kriegesboot herein:
Der Aarenbusch, der Rosenschild,
Das ist der Retter dein!
Schon ruft des Hunen Horn zum Streit,
Hinab zum Muschelrain.

"Willkommen, schmucker Knabe, mir!
Bist du zu Stelle kummen?
Gar bald vom schwarzen Schilde dir
Hau' ich die gold'nen Blumen.
Die achtzehn Blumen, blutbethaut,
Les' deine königliche Braut
Auf aus dem Sand der Wogen,
Nur flink die Wehr gezogen!"

Zum Thurm aufschallt das Schwerdtgeklirr!
Wie harrt die Braut so bang!
Der Kampf dröhnt laut durch's Waldrevier,
So heftig und so lang!
Und endlich, endlich däucht es ihr,
Erstirbt der Hiebe Klang.

Es kracht das Schloß, die Thür klafft auf,
Die ihren sieht sie wieder,
Sie eilt im athemlosen Lauf
Zum Muschelplane nieder.
Da liegt der Peiniger zerschellt,
Doch weh! dicht neben nieder,
Ach! decken's blutbespritzte Feld
Des Retters blasse Glieder.

Still sammelt sie die Rosen auf
In ihren keuschen Schooß
Und bettet ihren Lieben drauf,
Ein Thränchen stiehlt sich los!
Und thaut die breiten Wunden an,
Und sagt: ich, ich hab' das gethan!

Da fraß es einem Schandgesell
Des Raubes im Gemüth,
Daß die, die seinen Herrn verdarb,
Frei nach der Heimath zieht.
Vom Busch, wo er verkrochen lag
In wilder Todeslust,
Pfeift schnell sein Bolzen durch die Luft,
In ihre keusche Brust.

Da ward ihr wohl im Brautgemach,
Im Kiesgrund, still und klein;
Sie senkten sie dem Lieben nach
Dort unter einem Stein,
Den ihr, von Diesteln überweht,
Noch nächst des Turmes Trümmern seht.

Confirmed with Schochow, Schuberts Liedertexte, Band I, Georg Olms Verlag, 1997, pages 207-208.


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Balada", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Ballade 'Een jonkvrouw ziet van de toren neer'", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Ballad", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Ballade", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2017-05-09 03:43:18
Line count: 56
Word count: 280

Ballad
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A maiden looks out anxiously from the lofty tower
at the wide sea.
To the mournful, heavy sound of the zither
her melancholy song echoes:
"I am kept under lock and key;
my rescuer tarries so long."

Take comfort, noble maid!
Look - behind the chalky stone cliffs
in the darkness of the bay
a warship is coming in:
The eagle's plume, the shield with a rose -
it is your rescuer!
Already his hero's horn is calling
for battle down at the scalloped bank.

"Welcome, flamboyant youth!
Have you come to me?
Soon I will hew from your dark shield
all of the golden flowers.
Those eighteen flowers will be spattered with your blood
and your regal bride will find
them on the sand by the waves.
Quick, just draw your sword!"

The clangor of the swordfight reaches the tower;
how anxiously the bride waits!
The struggle resounds loudly through the wood, 
violent and long.
It seems endless, endless to her,
until the sound of the blows died away.

The lock cracks and the door splits open:
she can now look outside once more;
she hurries in a breathless run
down to the scalloped shore.
There lies her slain tormenter,
but alas, next to him
on the blood-spattered field
is the pale body of her rescuer.

Quietly she gathers roses
into her chaste lap
and with them lays her love to rest;
a tear steals down,
moistening the wide wound,
and she says: "I have done this!"

A companion of the robber,
his mind rankling with the idea
that she, she ruined his master,
draws close.
From the bushes where he lies hidden,
fuming with savage lust for death,
he sends an arrow singing through the air
and into her chaste breast.

They made her a bridal chamber
in the gravelly earth, quiet and small;
they lowered her with her love
and covered them with a stone
now overgrown with thistles;
and they remain there by the ruins of the tower.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


Based on

 

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:36
Line count: 56
Word count: 332