Monday, September 25, 2017

The Tale of Wealth and Misery

Das Märchen von Reichtum und Not
Es war einmal Bruder und Schwester:
Der Reichtum und die Not.
Er schwelgte in tausend Genüssen,
sie hatte kaum trocken Brot.

Die Schwester diente beim Bruder
viel hundert Jahre lang;
ihn rührt' es nicht, wenn sie weinte,
noch wenn sie ihr Leiden besang.

Er fluchte und trat sie mit Füßen,
er schlug ihr ins sanfte Gesicht;
sie fiel auf die Erde und flehte:
Hilfst du, o Gott! mir nicht?

Wie wird das Lied wohl enden?
Das ist ein traurig Lied!
Ich will's nicht weiter hören,
wenn nichts für die Schwester geschieht!

Das ist das Ende vom Liede
vom Reichtum und von der Not:
An einem schönen Morgen
schlug sie ihren Bruder tot.

Adolf Glassbrenner (March 27, 1810 – September 25, 1876)


  1. For those of us with no German this is what google translates:

    The fairy tale of wealth and distress

    There was once a brother and sister:
    The wealth and the need.
    He revelled in a thousand pleasures,
    she had barely dry bread.

    The sister served with the brother
    for a hundred years;
    it did not stir him when she cried,
    even when she sang her suffering.

    He cursed and kicked her with feet,
    he struck her in the gentle face;
    she fell to the ground and begged:
    Will you help, O God! not me?

    How will the song end?
    This is a sad song!
    I do not want to hear it,
    if nothing happens to the sister!

    This is the end of the song
    of wealth and need:
    On a beautiful morning
    she beat her brother dead.


    Are they getting better, my friend?

    1. Not bad, indeed, Susan.
      Thank you.
      I had scheduled this a while ago, and thought I would find time to translate. But alas! :)
      As now it needs but a little fine tuning here and polishing there, there is hope, though.
      Just for a beginning: I prefer(ed) 'misery' to 'distress'; its three syllables let the title sound more ... how to say? ... melodious.
      What do you think?

  2. A cheerful little ditty not

    (Not A.non but A.MacScott - system not cooperating)

    1. Yes, Otto Glaßbrenner was an interesting chap living in interesting times.
      Well, so we do.
      Which not cooperating system are you 'talking' about?

    2. Commenting system was not allowing me to comment as me (probably wise)