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Unread 11-24-2019, 09:21 AM
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Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,077
Default Heine: Im Hirn spukt mir ein Mährchen wunderfein

Im Hirn spukt mir ein Mährchen wunderfein

Within my brain a fable haunts me so,
And in the fable rings a subtle air
And therein lives and moves and thrives a fair
And gentle maiden bathed in beauty’s glow.

And in the maid a small heart dwells—but oh!
Of love’s warm glow, the little heart is bare;
A frosty loveless soul devoid of care,
Where pride and devilment alone can grow.

And can you hear that subtle fable moaning
Within my head? That grave and eerie ditty?
The softly muted giggle from the maid?
I fear my head will shatter from the droning,
And oh! it would be such a dreadful pity
To have my mind derailed from tracks long laid.


Im Hirn spukt mir ein Märchen wunderfein,
Und in dem Märchen klingt ein feines Lied,
Und in dem Liede lebt und webt und blüht
Ein wunderschönes, zartes Mägdelein.

Und in dem Mägdlein wohnt ein Herzchen klein,
Doch in dem Herzchen keine Liebe glüht;
In dieses lieblos frostige Gemüt
Kam Hochmut nur und Übermut hinein.

Hörst du, wie mir im Kopf das Märchen klinget?
Und wie das Liedchen summet ernst und schaurig?
Und wie das Mägdlein kichert, leise, leise?

Ich fürchte nur, daß mir der Kopf zerspringet —
Und, ach! da wärs doch gar entsetzlich traurig,
Käm der Verstand mir aus dem alten Gleise.


In the brain, a wonderful fairy tale haunts me,
And in the fairy tale sounds a fine song,
And in the song lives and moves and flourishes
A beautiful, delicate maiden.

And in the maiden dwells a little heart
But in the heart no love glows;
In this loveless frosty mind
Only haughtiness and devilment came into it.

Do you hear how the fairy tale sounds in my head?
And how does the ditty sound serious and scary?
And how the girl giggles, softly, quietly?

I'm just afraid that my head will shatter -
And, alas! because it would be terribly sad,
If my senses were to be fought off the old tracks.


Last edited by Spindleshanks; 11-24-2019 at 09:24 PM.
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Unread 11-24-2019, 08:42 PM
Allen Tice's Avatar
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 4,740

I would suggest using "there" as the rhyme word for line six, and also avoiding inversion: something like, but better than, "there is no love a-glowing there".

(Poor Heine. Are so many of his loves as sadistic as this one seems to have been? Maybe he pushed her too far, otherwise I wonder if this isn't blaming the victim. Of course, that's not your worry, which is to translate. Of course there are sadistic people among all 39 genders.)

Last edited by Allen Tice; 11-24-2019 at 08:57 PM.
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Unread 11-24-2019, 10:00 PM
Spindleshanks's Avatar
Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,077

Thanks Allen. I used the inversion reluctantly to avoid redundancy in the alternative "Within the heart, no love is glowing there" which I had considered. But I'll work on it.
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