Frühling läßt sein blaues BandEfforts to translate this poem are, in my opinion, decidedly mixed; some are truly awful. Some of the English texts published on the Internet clearly betray their authors as not being native speakers of English and don't work well no matter how "singable" they may be or whatever other virtues they may possess. Some are quite interesting interpretations.
Wieder flattern durch die Lüfte;
Süße, wohlbekannte Düfte
Streifen ahnungsvoll das Land.
Veilchen träumen schon,
Wollen balde kommen.
Horch, von fern ein leiser Harfenton!
Frühling, ja du bist's!
Dich hab ich vernommen!
After surveying the online poetic world for a historic, out-of-copyright version of that famous poem, I finally gave up in disgust and wrote my own bad version:
Spring sets free her ribbon bluePlease note the copyright and that honor will compel me to pursue you to the Gates of Hell if you even dream of quoting this without permission ;-) You'll be paying license fees and contributions to the German artists' social insurance fund to the end of your days.
to flutter in the skies again.
Sweet, familiar fragrance drifts
full of promise o’er the land.
Violets do dream,
desire to burst forth soon.
Hark! the harp sounds softly from afar!
Yes, Spring, it is you!
It is you I have heard!
Translation (c) 2009 Kevin Lossner
A bit of Google searching turns up many efforts. Here are some of the links I found:
- A translation by George Bird and Richard Stokes
- One by Emily Ezust
- Another by Walter A. Aue
- Bertram Kottmann's attempt
- & another one for which I'm not sure of the translator