To the angels

Text by Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)

Translated into English by Joseph Massaad 

deutsch - franšais


That is the wicked Thanatos
Who comes on a dun horse;
I hear the hoof-beats, hear the trotting,
The dark horseman is coming
To snatch me away from Mathilde, whom I ought
To leave: Oh, my heart cannot grasp this thought!

She was my wife, and also like my child, she was,
And when I go into the land of shadows,
She will be both a widow and an orphan!
I shall , lonely, in this world abandon
The wife and child who my courage have trust,
And rested carefree and loyal upon my breast.

You angels, in the heavenly skies,
Hear my pleas, hear my cries:
When I come in my bleak grave,
Protect the wife for whom I crave.
To your own image, be guard and shield,
Protect and shelter Mathilde, my poor child!

By all the tears you have been shedding
For the human woes and suffering,
By the word which only the priest would know,
And would never pronounce without awe,
By your own being, beautiful, gracious and mild,
I entreat you angels, protect Mathilde!