HYPERIONS SCHICKSALSLIED HYPERION’S SONG OF FATE 
Friedrich Hölderlin tr. Jay Macpherson


Ihr wandelt droben im Licht
..Auf weichem Boden, selige Genien!
....Glänzende Götterlüfte
......Rühren euch leicht,
........Wie die Finger der Künstlerin
..........Heilige Saiten.

Schicksallos, wie der schlafende
..Säugling, atmen die Himmlischen;
....Keusch bewahrt
......In bescheidener Knospe,
........Blühet ewig
..........Ihnen der Geist,
............Und die seligen Augen
..............Blicken in stiller
................Ewiger Klarheit.

Doch uns ist gegeben,
..Auf keiner Stätte zu ruhn,
....Es schwinden, es fallen
......Die leidenden Menschen
........Blindlings von einer
..........Stunde zur andern,
............Wie Wasser von Klippe
..............Zu Klippe geworfen,
................Jahr lang ins Ungewisse hinab.


..You wander above in the light
....On smooth ground, blessed genii!
......Gleaming airs of heaven
........Touch you softly
..........As the girl-player’s fingers
............Touch holy strings.

..Fateless, like the sleeping
....Infant, breathe the heaven-dwellers;
......Chastely guarded
........In modest bud
..........Everlastingly
............Blooms their spirit,
..............And their blessed eyes
................Gaze in tranquil
..................Eternal clarity.

..But to us is given
....In no place to rest;
......Suffering mankind
........Vanishes, falls
..........Blindly from one
............Hour to the next,
..............Like water hurtled
................From rapid to rapid,
..................Yearslong into uncertainty down.

Click here 3 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © Jay Macpherson


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