AE in the Housman: A Variant Translation of When I Was One-And-Twenty (Bernstein #5)

the charles bernstein experiments

5. Try a variant of these four translation exercises using the “Babelfish” and Google Translatateengines or the “Telephone” engine (here’s another)–– or other web-based translations engines, such as Free Translation.com and Logopoeia’s Shortwave Radio Engine.You can use Google tr. in telephone fashion: tr. from one language to another to another and back to original language

Original german poem:

Als ich war
einundzwanzig

Als ich war einundzwanzig,
tat mir ein Weiser dar:
“Kannst all dein Geld verschenken,
allein dein Herz bewahr’;
Rubine schenk’ und Perlen,
die Lieb’ indes halt frei.”
Doch ich war einundzwanzig,
und mir war’s einerlei.

Erneut h�rt’ ich ihn sagen,
was Jugend nicht bedenkt:
“Nie ward in jungen Jahren
das Herz umsonst verschenkt:
‘s macht Seufzen zum Begleiter
und Reue, immerdar.”
Nun bin ein Jahr ich weiter
und sp�r’, s’ist wahr, s’ist wahr.

“Proper” English TRanslation

When I was
One-and-Twenty

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.”
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
“The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
‘Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.”
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true. 

My translation:

(No idea where the names came from!)

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 12.07.58 AM

2 thoughts on “AE in the Housman: A Variant Translation of When I Was One-And-Twenty (Bernstein #5)

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