Anno 1829

Text by Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)
Translated into English by Joseph Massaad 

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Grant me a noble, spacious plain,
To bleed to death in comfort there and then!
Let me not suffocate in vain
In this narrow peddler's den!

They eat well, they guzzle well,
They enjoy their marmot's lot;
Their generosity is as broad
As the poor-box slot.

Cigars are planted in their muzzles,
And in their trousers pockets, their hands;
Also, their digestion is prosperous,
But who can digest these gents?

They trade in spices and many a condiment
From all over the world, and yet in their winds,
In spite of the spices fragrance, one can scent
The decaying fish smell of their minds.

Oh, how I long for the greatest vices,
Grandiose, blood-stained villainy,
To replace this complacent virtue,
This superior moral solvency!

Oh clouds above, take me with you,
To whatever distant land you would fare!
To Lapland or to Africa,
And be it to Pomerina! I don't care!

Oh take me with you! They do not hear.
Those clouds above me are so bright!
As they come sweeping over this town,
Anxiously, they hasten their flight.