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Unread 10-14-2019, 03:44 AM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,068
Default Heine: Gieb her die Larv’, ich will mich jetzt maskieren

Give me a scoundrel’s mask, that I be accepted
as one with those true scoundrels gaily streaming
along in theatre masks while never dreaming
that I am me, and you and I connected.
Give me their ways, their jargon. Unsuspected,
I will immerse myself in their style, assuming
a mere flirtatious acquaintance with wit and grooming,
as does that rabble, dull-witted and affected.

I’ll dance, then, at their glorious Masquerade,
among Teutonic knights, monks, kings, respected
by merry buffoons, my artifice undetected.
They will knock me about with their wooden blade.
But, the real fun begins with my unmasking,
watching that gallows pack gaping and gasping.


Gieb her die Larv’, ich will mich jetzt maskieren
In einen Lumpenkerl, damit Halunken,
Die prächtig in Charaktermasken prunken,
Nicht wähnen Ich sei einer von den Ihren.
Gieb her gemeine Worte und Manieren,
Ich zeige mich in Pöbelart versunken,
Verläugne all die schönen Geistesfunken,
Womit jetzt fade Schlingel kokettiren.
So tanz’ ich auf dem großen Maskenballe,
Umschwärmt von deutschen Rittern, Mönchen, Königen,
Von Harlekin gegrüßt, erkannt von wenigen.
Mit ihrem Holzschwert prügeln sie mich alle.
Das ist der Spaß. Denn wollt’ ich mich entmummen,
So mußte all das Galgenpack verstummen.


Give me the mask, I will disguise myself now
Into a scoundrel, so scoundrels
That parade splendidly in character masks
Cannot imagine I am one of yours.
Give me vulgar words and manners,
I will show myself absorbed in the rabble ways,
Disowning all the great mental sparks,
Thus flirt now as does a dull rascal.
I am dancing at the great Masked Ball,
Swarming with German knights, monks, kings,
Greeted by harlequins, recognised by few.
With their wooden sword they all beat me.
This is the fun. For I wish to unmask
and therefore silence all the gallows pack.


Last edited by Spindleshanks; 10-14-2019 at 05:58 AM. Reason: Replaced L6 "become as part of them" with "immerse myself in their style"
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Unread 10-14-2019, 05:13 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,952

Good morning Peter,

What a splendid Heine poem! And what fun you've had with the English! I enjoyed this a good deal, and the only real hesitation I had was in this line - "I will become as part of them" - where I think you can do more with "Poebelart." You've ended up with a rather neutral and clinical tone there.
Fun read!

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Unread 10-14-2019, 05:59 AM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,068

Thanks John. Is that better?
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