Germany. A Winterís Tale

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

Caput XIII

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


The sun arose near Paderborn
With quite an annoyed expression.
In fact, lighting the stupid earth
Is an irksome profession!

As soon as heís lit one side up,
With glittering speed, he sends his light
To the other side. In the meantime,
The first sinks deep into night.

Sisyphusí stone keeps rolling down,
The Danaidís barrel can never
Be filled, and in vain will the sun
Light the earth for ever!

And when the morning mist had cleared,
There appeared on the road-side,
In the morning light, the image
Of the man who was crucified.

My poor cousin, Iím filled with sadness
Every time I gaze upon your face.
You hoped to redeem the world, you fool!
You saviour of the human race!

They played a nasty trick on you,
Those lords of high Estate!
Who asked you to talk so recklessly
Against the Church and the State?

For your misfortune the printing-press
Was not yet invented then.
You could have written a book
Over the questions of Heaven.

The censor would have stricken out
The most offensive section,
And the censorship would have kindly
Prevented your crucifixion.

If only your Sermon on the Mount
Used a text softer in nature!
You had talent and intellect enough
To spare every pious creature!

 

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