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  • Translation

Thekla's Song by Friedrich Schiller


This song was composed by Schiller in response to inquiries about the fate of his character Thekla in his tragedy, Wallenstein’s Death.


You wish to find me, know my home,

Now that my form has fled your eyes?

Was my work not complete below,

Did I not love and tell no lies?


Do you look for the nightingales

When you hear their melodious throngs,

Echoing through the trees and shrubs?

Their love lived through their songs.


Have I now lost eternal things?

Trust me; I am forever bound;

With them I’m wed, will never part—

Here tears need never hit the ground.


And there you will find us again,

When your love with our love compares.

And there resides my father, free

Of sin and treacherous heirs.


He knows that now the skies are clear:

The truth gleams like joyful starlings.

It is, as soon as we can trust;

He who believes unearths Holy things.


Eternal vows are realized—

Dissolved are time, and place, and day.

Don’t be afraid to dream while waking:

Deep things emerge from childlike play.


Translation © David B. Gosselin

3 Comments


mail
Jul 12, 2022

Such a beautiful piece of writing.

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martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
Feb 18, 2022

You seem to be going through a very creative spell at the moment. This is another fine poem, another fine translation, with some outstanding lines that stop a reader in his tracks, and this is the true test of any successful translation. My favourite line is: 'He who believes unearths Holy things.' Isn't this the very purpose of being a poet - especially one, like yourself, with an awareness of the power of the muse. I'd get out of bed just to read that, even though it's stormy here and no one is going anywhere just now. Well done.

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jm6783685
jm6783685
Feb 17, 2022

I know little of the work of Schiller. I do remember seeing a play of his when I was very young. Was it called 'Mary Stuart'? But this is a very fine poem indeed. Which is full of resonances of the sort one likes to remember.

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