Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Deos Fortioribus Adesse

Goethe, song from Lila, tr. Eric Sams:
The timid uncertainty of cowardly thoughts, womanish hesitation, anxious lamenting, these cannot avert misery, cannot make you free!

But bidding defiance to all external forces, never yielding, showing yourself tough and strong; these will call forth the arms of the gods in your support!
The German:
Feiger Gedanken
Bängliches Schwanken,
Weibisches Zagen,
Ängstliches Klagen
Wendet kein Elend,
Macht dich nicht frei.

Allen Gewalten
Zum Trutz sich erhalten,
Nimmer sich beugen,
Kräftig sich zeigen,
Rufet die Arme
Der Götter herbei!
The same, translated by Paul Carus:
Cowardly thinking,
Timorous shrinking,
Weak lamentations,
Faint hesitations
Mend not our misery,
Set us not free.

Face all hostility,
Preserve your virility
Nor ever yield.
Vigorous resistance
Brings the assistance
Of gods to the field.
The same, translated by Maria Bowen:
Cowardly thinking,
Wavering, sinking,
Womanish crying,
Despairing and sighing
Ward off no evil,
Leave thee a slave!

Against hostile might
Valiant to fight,
Yielding thee never,
But full of force ever,
This brings a blessing,
The Gods help the brave.
The same, translated by Lilian Bayard Taylor Kiliani:
Cowardly faltering.
Hesitant paltering,
Womanish quailing,
Terrified wailing,
Turns not misfortune,
Nor gives you the odds.

Proving the master
In spite of disaster,
Yielding him never,
Combating ever.
Thus man invoketh
The arms of the gods.
The same, translated by Ernst Eduard Lemcke:
Cowardly pondering,
Anxiously wondering,
Womanish failings,
Timorous waitings
Ward off no misery,
Make thee not free.

Spite all defiance
With self-reliance,
Submitting never,
By sturdy endeavor
Call forth the gods' help
To rescue thee.

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