Was it you, dear mother, keened so plaintively,
Cursed me for three long years
To wander a hapless vagabond,
To encounter what my soul despises?
Haven't I squandered father's savings
Wounding you deeply -
While my green youth, dear mother
Dries up and fades, sorely afflicted!
My good friends deem me happy
Because I laugh together with them.
They don't know how I rot inside -
How my youth has felt the frost's sting!
How could they know? I have no friend
To confide the secrets of my heart:
Whom I love - what I believe in -
My dreams and thoughts... my suffering.
Besides you there's no one, dear mother -
You are my love and my faith;
But I no longer hope to embrace you here,
My heart turns to ash!
I dreamed many a dream, dear mother -
We'd share happiness and glory together.
I had the strength - what didn't I desire?!
But for all my desires - a pit lay in wait.
One thing remained, poor one:
To fall into your dear embrace -
So this young heart, this suffering soul
Might seek your solace, poor wretch ...
Father and sister, and dear brothers
I want to embrace you without hard feelings,
Then let my veins turn cold -
Then let me rot in the grave!
Translated by © Thomas Butler. All rights reserved!