Saturday, July 11, 2009


Winter in July

August von Platen (1796-1835), Winterlieder:
Patience, tiny bud,
In the dear quiet wood:
It is still much too cold,
It is still much too soon.

For now I pass you by,
But I remember the spot,
And when Spring draws near,
I'll fetch you then, my treasure.

The sky is so clear and blue,
If only the earth were green!
The wind cuts, if only it were mild!
The snow glistens, if only it were dew!
If only the earth were green!

Geduld, du kleine Knospe,
Im lieben stillen Wald,
Es ist noch viel zu frostig,
Es ist noch viel zu bald.

Noch geh' ich dich vorüber,
Doch merk' ich mir den Platz,
Und kommt heran der Frühling,
So hol' ich dich, mein Schatz.

Der Himmel ist so hell und blau,
Ach wäre die Erde grüne!
Der Wind ist scharf, ach wär' er lau!
Es schimmert der Schnee, ach wär' es Thau!
Ach wäre die Erde grüne!
Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, "Platen's Poems," in Essays and Studies, Educational and Literary (Baltimore: N. Murray, 1890), pp. 401-450 (at 403):
We may well despair of giving to an English translation the finished perfection of language which is to many the highest, to some the sole charm of Platen.
Related post: That Man, Where Is He Now?

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