Here and There

Here is one of Silesius’ somewhat longer poems.  (Long for someone who usually writes two- or four-verse aphorisms, that is.)  I translate this a bit more loosely, so I’ve included the German below.

IV.47  Here and There.*
He hangs here on a cross:
He sits there on a throne.
They crown Him here with thorns:
His crown there is God’s own.
Here men have thrust Him down:
There He is Lord on high.
Here He has shut his mouth:
There mighty is His cry.
He weeps here, but there laughs:
O Christian, do not fear,
But take your cross and follow,
Christ with you there and here.

IV.47  Dort geht es anderst zu.
Hier hängt das Lamb am Creutz / dort sitzts auf Gottesthron
Hier trägts den Dornen krantz / dort eine Kaiserkron:
Hier ist es Unterthan / dort herscht es über alle:
Hier thuts den Mund nicht auf / dort redts mit hellem schalle:
Hier weints / und dorte Lachts: drumb tröste dich mein Christ
Daß sich dein Creutz verkehrt / wo du diß Lamm nur bist.

~ Angelus Silesius, Cherubinischer Wandersmann

*I love the German title, but it doesn’t flow so well in English:  Dort geht es anderst zu, “There it is Entirely Otherwise.”


About middlingpoet

From the Gawain poet to Rainer Maria Rilke: I love traditional poetry.
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