The Fiddler’s Song

by HUGO VON BLUMBERG (1820-1871)

THROUGH rain and through wind,
Half deaf and half blind,
The fiddler is toiling along.
How bitterly cold
Through his cloak thin and old
Blows the gale a wild tune to his song!

“Ye mortals, who claim
To have fortune and fame,
Sleep well! Lull yourselves in vain dreams!
How festive the ball!
How brilliant the hall!
Would happiness were what it seems!

“The cup with a crash
To pieces they dash,
A fool he who weeps o’er the end!
Dame Fortune is blind,
Love’s a child, never mind!
Reaper Death is the only true friend.

“Heigh-ho for the chase!
Keep up with the race!
As the wheel whirls we rise and we fall.
Up and down! high and low!
To the grave we must go
And the worm is the heir of it all.”

So he fiddles and sings,
Thin and hoarse the tune rings
And soon fades away into naught.
‘Mid the gale’s deafening roar,
I see him no more
Yet his song lingers on in my thought.

Translation by A.M. Von Blomberg (his daughter)

Hugo von Blumberg Contemporaries
Walt Whitman
William Allingham
Robert Browning

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