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July 14, 2009

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Michael Stennecken

The Tragedy of Afghanistan (by Theodor Fontane, 1819-1898,
translated by Michael Stennecken, 2001)


The snow smart spraying from heaven falls,
A rider before Dschellalabad holds,
"Who there! " - "A British rider's man,
Bring message from Afghanistan."

Afghanistan! He spoke it so lone;
Surrounded the rider by half the town,
Sir Robert Sale, the commandant,
Heaves from the horse him with his own hand.

They lead to the stony watch-house so grace,
They put him down to the fireplace ,
How heats him that fire, how feasts him that light,
He breathes and thanks and speakes out with might:

“We were thirteen of thousand man,
From Kabul there our trek began,
Soldiers, commanders, child and wife,
Numbed, beaten, gave up their life.

Dispersed our whole army that we've count'
What lives, strays out there in night around,
To me God gave salvage, did me the best,
Please care that you can rescue the rest."

Sir Robert climbed the fortress wall,
Officers, soldiers followed him all,
Sir Robert speakes: " The snow makes blind,
They who us search, they cannot us find.

They err as unseeing and are us so near,
So let them hear, that we are there,
Intone a carol of home and house,
Trumpeter blow to the night that out!"

Then they began and did unfatigued long,
In the night it sounded song by song
First English songs with cheerfully sound,
Then highland songs like wailing around.

They blew the night and over day, too,
Loud, as only the love it may do,
They blew - it came the second night,
Vain, that you call, vain, that you watch at light.

They who shall hear, they don't hear anymore,
Destroyed the entire army corps,
With thirteen thousand the trek began,
One came home from Afghanistan.

Michael Stennecken

Wurde direkt nach der Intervention in Afghanistan 2001 'auf die Schnelle' übersetzt für meine amerikanischen Freunde. 20 Jahre später haben wir dasselbe nochmal .. michael@stennecken.de

Jörg K.

Eine, wie ich finde, ebenfalls sehr schöne Übersetzung. Vielen Dank Herr Stennecken.

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