The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161887 Message #3857937
Posted By: keberoxu
30-May-17 - 04:36 PM
Thread Name: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
The preceding German-language poem by Kotzebue leads to this version,
in English translation.
BE MERRY AND WISE
No beauty, no glory, remaineth
Below the unbribable skies:
All Beauty but winneth and waneth --
All Glory but dazzles and dies.
Since multitudes cast in a gay mold
Before us have lived and have laughed,
To the slumberers under the claymould
Let goblet on goblet be quaffed!
For millions in centuries after
Decay shall have crumbled our bones
As lightly with revel and laughter
Will fill their progenitors' thrones.
Here banded together in union
Our bosoms are joyous and gay.
How blest, could our festive communion
Remain to enchant us for aye!
But Change is omnipotent ever;
Thus knitted we cannot remain;
Wide waves and high hills will soon sever
The links of our brotherly chain.
Yet, even though far disunited,
Our hearts are in fellowship still,
And all, if but one be delighted,
Will hear it with Sympathy's thrill.
And if, after years have gone o'er us,
Fate bring us together once more,
Who knows but the mirth of our chorus
May yet be as loud as before!
James Clarence Mangan,
from Volume II of Anthologia Germanica: A Garland from the German Poets.
Dublin: James Duffy and Sons,
sometime before 1849
pages 184 - 185
Mangan, as he so often does, makes his rhyming translation into a fairly free paraphrase of the original.
Mangan's translations appear elsewhere in the Mudcat forum, for instance in a thread on the poet Georg Herwegh.