Anno 1839

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

deutsch - franšais


Oh Germany, my distant love,
I all but weep to think of thee!
Gay France appears so sad,
Her frivolous race depresses me.

Reason alone, so cold and dry,
Rules witty Paris all alone;
Oh fool's bells, bells of faith,
How sweetly you resound at home!

Such polite men! But sullenly,
Do I return their courteous address.
The rudeness I once enjoyed in Germany,
This was my real happiness!

Smiling women! Always chatting,
Like mill-wheels forever turning!
How I prefer the German maiden, instead,
Who without a word, comes to bed.

And everything here spins round
Impetuously, as in a crazy dream!
At home, things go nicely on a railing,
Immobile, as if fixed, it would seem.

I seem to hear a far-away droning,
Night-watchmen's horn, dear and frail,
Night-watchmen do I hear singing,
And the sound of the nightingale.

In Schilda's beloved oak-grove
The poet's mood was so sublime!
That's where my tender rhymes I wove
From violet scent and moonshine.