Antike Poesie

Ich sah den Helikon in Wolkendunst,
Nur kaum beruehrt vom ersten Sonnenstrahle:
Schau! Jetzo stehen hoch mit einem Male
Die Gipfel dort in Morgenroetebrunst.

Hier unten spricht von keuscher Musen Gunst
Der heilge Quell im dunkelgruenen Tale;
Wer aber schoepft mit reiner Opferschale,
Wie einst, den echten Tau der alten Kunst?

Wie? soll ich endlich keinen Meister sehn?
Will keiner mehr den alten Lorbeer pfluecken? –
Da sah ich Iphigeniens Dichter stehn:

Er ist's, an dessen Blick sich diese Hoehn
So zauberhaft, so sonnewarm erquicken.
Er geht, und frostig rauhe Luefte wehn.

Eduard Moerike    1828

Ancient Poetry

Midst hazy clouds I saw Hilicon
Hardly touched by the first rays of sun:
But look! Now I behold it standing there,
Its peaks tinged in reddish dawn.

Here in a dark green valley the sacred wellspring
Speaks of the favor of chase muses;
But who is he who dips the sacrificial bowl,
As of old, to fetch the pure dew of art past?

But how? Shall I never behold a master?
Does no one wish to pluck
from the old laurel? -
Then I saw Iphigenia's poet standing there:

He it is, at the sight of whom these heights
So charming, so sun-warmed come to life.
He departs, and frosty raw winds set in.

Translation: Charles L. Cingolani          Copyright © 2019
. . . Mount Helicon, in Greek mythology, is where the source of poetic inspiration lies . . .
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