by John Keats (1795 - 1821)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

My spirit is too weak; mortality
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER HUN
[My]1 spirit is too weak; mortality 
Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,
And each imagined pinnacle and steep
Of godlike hardship tells me I must die,
Like a sick eagle looking towards the sky.
Yet 'tis a gentle luxury to weep,
That I have not the cloudy winds to keep
Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye.
Such dim-conceived glories of the brain
Bring round the heart an indescribable feud;
So do these wonders a most dizzy pain,
That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude
Wasting of old Time -- with a billowy main,
A sun, a shadow of a magnitude.

C. Ives sets lines 1-5
G. Bachlund sets lines 1-5

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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):

  • FRE French (Français) (Jean-Pierre Granger) , "En contemplant les marbres d'Elgin pour la première fois", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Beim ersten Sehen der Parthenon Friese", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Tamás Rédey) , copyright © 2015, (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: 14
Word count: 102

Beim ersten Sehen der Parthenon Friese
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Mein Geist, er ist zu schwach; Vergänglichkeit,
schwer lastet sie auf mir wie ungewollter Schlaf , 
und jede Zinne, jedes eingekerbte Tal                
gottgleicher Mühsal kündet mir die Sterblichkeit,
wie ein gebroch'ner Adler, dessen Blick zum Himmel steigt.
Ein kleiner Luxus ist's jedoch, zu weinen,
dass ich nicht Wolk' und Wind auf's Neu muss einen
bis sich der Sonne Aug' am Morgenhimmel zeigt.
Solch vag' erfasste Glorien der Geisteskraft
entfachen tief im Herzen unsagbaren Streit
wie auch dies Wunder Qual und Taumel schafft,
die griechische Erhabenheit vermengen mit antiker Zeit        
Entheiligung  --- mit einem Meere, launenhaft,
und einer Sonne, einem Schatten von Erhabenheit.

Authorship

  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2013 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT) t-online.de

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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2013-04-10
Line count: 14
Word count: 102