Else Lasker-Schüler (1869-1945): Jacob

Translated by Timothy Adès

Jakob

Jakob war der Büffel seiner Herde.
Wenn er stampfte mit den Hufen,
Sprühte unter ihm die Erde.
Brüllend ließ er die gescheckten Brüder.
Rannte in den Urwald an die Flüsse,
Stillte dort das Blut der Affenbisse.
Durch die müden Schmerzen in den Knöcheln
Sank er vor dem Himmel fiebernd nieder,
Und sein Ochsgesicht erschuf das Lächeln.
Jacob was his herd’s buffalo.
Sometimes the brute would stamp and pound:
Things sprouted up from the earth below.
Roaring, he left his piebald kind,
Ran to the forest and its rivers,
And calmed his blood, his ape-bite wound.
Weary and aching in his joints,
He bowed to heaven in his fevers.
Smiles wreathed his bovine countenance.
Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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