Christmas Poem

Weihnachtsgedicht

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Weihnachtsgedicht
Es gibt so wunderweisse Nächte, drin alle Dinge silber sind. Da schimmert mancher Stern so lind, als ob er fromme Hirten brächte zu einem neuen Jesuskind. Weit wie mit dichtem Demantstaube bestreut, erscheinen Flur und Flut, und in die Herzen, traumgemut, steigt ein kapellenloser Glaube, der leise seine Wunder tut.
Christmas Poem
Some nights there are so wondrous white that all is touched with silver hue, and many a great star gleams as bright as if it guided shepherds to a Jesus they may find anew. Strewn with a dust of diamonds lie field and flood, a broad expanse; and then in sweetly dreaming hearts an all unchapelled faith ascends, that lightly works its magic arts.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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Advent

Advent

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Advent
Es treibt der Wind im Winterwalde die Flockenherde wie ein Hirt, und manche Tanne ahnt, wie balde sie fromm und lichterheilig wird, und lauscht hinaus. Den weißen Wegen streckt sie die Zweige hin - bereit, und wehrt dem Wind und wächst entgegen der einen Nacht der Herrlichkeit.
Advent
Winds drive the flakes in the wintry wood, herding them, as a shepherd would. Fir-trees can tell they soon will stand piously laced with holy light: alert and ready, they withstand the wind, and stretch and seek the white pathways, and swell their boughs toward that night, that single glorious night.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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Categories
French

(From) Christmas Marching Song

Paul Claudel (1868-1955)

Translated by Timothy Adès

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Resting in Egypt

Le Repos En Egypte

Albert Samain (1858-1900)

Le Repos En Egypte
La nuit est bleue et chaude, et le calme infini… Roulé dans son manteau, le front sur une pierre, Joseph dort, le coeur pur, ayant fait sa prière; Et l’âne à ses côtés est comme un humble ami. Entre les pieds du Sphinx appuyée à demi, La Vierge, pâle et douce, a fermé la paupière; Et, dans l’ombre, une étrange et suave lumière Sort du petit Jésus dans ses bras endormi. Autour d’eux le désert s’ouvre mystérieux; Et tout est si tranquille à cette heure, en ces lieux Qu’on entendrait l’enfant respirer sous ses voiles. Nul souffle…La fumée immobile du feu, Mont ainsi qu’un long fil se perdre dans l’air bleu… Et le Sphinx éternel atteste les étoiles.
Resting in Egypt
The blue, hot night, the calm that has no end… Wrapped in his cloak, a stone beneath his head, Sleeps Joseph, pure in heart, his prayers said; The ass lies by him, like a humble friend. Between the Sphinx’s paws composed to rest, The Virgin, pale and sweet, has veiled her sight. The shadow glimmers with a strange, soft light: The infant Jesus sleeps upon her breast. The time and place are peaceful. Not a sound: Only the breathing of the babe. All round, The desert sands their mysteries unfold. The wind is still, the smoke climbs quietly, Like a long thread, to vanish in the sky; The timeless Sphinx bids all the stars behold.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

Categories
French

Épiphanie

José-Maria de Hérédia (1842-1905)

Translated by Timothy Adès

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Latin

Good King Wenceslas

J M Neale

Translated into Latin by Timothy Adès

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French

Emmanuel: A Dream of Christmas

Charles-Marie Leconte de Lisle (1818-94)

Translated by Timothy Adès

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Categories
German

The Three Holy Kings

Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)

Translated by Timothy Adès

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Spanish

ZAGALEJO DE PERLAS

Lope de Vega (1562-1635)

Translated by Timothy Adès

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