Germany. A Winterís Tale

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

Caput XII

franÁais - deutsch

Departure | I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X | XI | XII | XIII | XIV | XV
XVI | XVII | XVIII | XIX | XX | XXI | XXII | XXIII | XXIV | XXV | XXVI | XXVII


At night, the chaise bumps on through the woods.
Suddenly a cracking is heard:
A wheelís come off. We came to a halt.
Not very pleasant, take my word.

The coachman got down, he hurried away
To the village, and Iím left there
Alone in the woods at midnight.
A howling is heard everywhere.

Thatís the wolves, they howl so wildly,
Their hungry voices are screaming.
Like lights in the total darkness,
Their fiery eyes are gleaming.

Surely, theyíve heard of my coming,
And set the woods afire
In honour of my visit;
They even sang in choir.

Itís a serenade, I see it now,
A personal celebration!
Deeply moved, I stroke a pose,
And spoke with animation:

ďMy fellow wolves! I am happy today
To spend time in this surrounding,
Where so many noble minds,
For me, are so lovingly howling.

To what I feel in this moment,
There is no possible measure;
Yes, I shall eternally remember
This lovely hour of pleasure.

I thank you for this confidence,
Demonstrated without denial,
And which you have so clearly proved,
In every period of trial.

My fellow wolves! You never doubted me,
Never be deceived by those thugs,
Who spread the tale that Iíve betrayed you,
That Iíve gone over to the dogs,

That, as a traitor, as a councillor-to-be,
To the sheep-nation I was sold!
It was beneath me to contradict
All the lies that you were told.

The sheepskin that I wore at times,
Was only used to keep me warm,
It was no cause for sheep affection,
In any shape or form.

Iím not a sheep, Iím not a dog,
Iím not a councillor at all.
Iíve always remained a wolf, my teeth
Are wolfish, and so is my soul.

I am a wolf, and always will
Howl the way wolves do.
So, count on me and help yourself,
Then God will help you too!Ē

That was the speech I made,
Without any preparation.
Kolbís Allgemeine had it printed,
Not without some mutilation.


 

Departure | I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X | XI | XII | XIII | XIV | XV
XVI | XVII | XVIII | XIX | XX | XXI | XXII | XXIII | XXIV | XXV | XXVI | XXVII