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Original poem

Hälfte des Lebens

Mit gelben Birnen hänget
Und voll mit wilden Rosen
Das Land in den See,
Ihr holden Schwäne,
Und trunken von Küssen
Tunkt ihr das Haupt
Ins heilignüchterne Wasser.

Weh mir, wo nehm’ ich, wenn
Es Winter ist, die Blumen, und wo
Den Sonnenschein,
Und Schatten der Erde?
Die Mauern stehn
Sprachlos und kalt, im Winde
Klirren die Fahnen.

Versions

Poem in translation

Hauf o Life (Hälfte des Lebens into Scots)

Bien wi yella pears, fu
o wild roses, the braes
fa intil the loch;
ye mensefu’ swans,
drunk wi kisses
dook yir heids
i the douce, the hailie watter.

But whaur, when winter’s wi us
will ah fin flo’ers;
whaur the shadda
an sunlicht o the yird?
Dumbfounert, the wa’s staun;
the cauld blast
claitters the wethervanes.

» Read translator's notes

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