Lebe Wohl

"Lebe wohl" — Du fuehlest nicht,
Was es heisst, dies Wort der Schmerzen;
Mit getrostem Angesicht
Sagtest du´s und leichtem Herzen.

Lebe wohl! — Ach tausendmal
Hab ich mir es vorgesprochen,
Und in nimmersatter Qual
Mir das Herz damit gebrochen!

Eduard Moerike    1841


"Farewell" — Dost thou not feel,
What it means, this word of anguish;
With calmness on thy face
I heard thee utter it blithely.

Farewell! — Ah, a thousand times
I have said it to myself,
And with ne'er lessening pain
Felt my own heart breaking!

Translation: Charles L. Cingolani          Copyright © 2011
. . . Moerike stresses gravely the parting word "farewell". He knows its sting from recent experience . . .