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Translate a Poem

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

Life, Halved

The land is dripping
with golden pears,
wild roses pour over the lake;
you sweet swans,
giddy with kisses,
anoint yourselves
with the dry holy water.

Oh dear, where will I find
flowers in the winter,
where will I find sunshine
and sharp shadows?
The city walls stand
chill and silent, in the wind
the frosty flags stutter.

» Read translator's notes

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