Saturday, October 17, 2015


Fountain of Youth

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), from West-östlicher Divan, IX: Das Schenkenbuch (tr. J. Whaley):
Drunken, all must to this incline!
Youth is drunkenness less the wine;
Age may its youth in drinking renew,
Wonderful virtue so to do.
Dear life for cares enough will care,
And vines will all our cares repair.
The same (tr. Martin Bidney):
Drunk is what all of us ought to be!
Youth's being drunk without wine, you see?
If age can drink itself back to youth,
That's wonder-virtue, too, in truth.
Dear life brings worry all the time—
A worry-breaker is the vine.
The same (tr. David Luke):
We must all be drunk! Youth is wineless drunkenness and old age that drinks itself young again is marvellous virtue. Life, bless it, takes care to supply us with cares; and the caster-out of cares is the vine.
The German:
Trunken müssen wir alle sein!
Jugend ist Trunkenheit ohne Wein;
Trinkt sich das Alter wieder zu Jugend,
So ist es wundervolle Tugend.
Für Sorgen sorgt das liebe Leben,
Und Sorgenbrecher sind die Reben.

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