"The Farewell of Hector to Andromache" by Karl Friedrich DecklerA Translation of ‘Hector and Andromache’ by Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) The Society March 21, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Poetry, Translation 4 Comments translation by Jonathan Shoulta Andromache Will you, my Hector, forever go away to where with unmatched hands Achilles makes Patroclus bloody off’rings? ____________________Who will teach your little one with strength to throw the spear, or how to honor the gods, if what I fear occurs and Orcus devours you? Hector Dear wife, enough of tears, for go I must, for love of you I burn with battle-lust my arms sustain Pergamus. ____________________If now I fall, I’ll fall in the Trojan gods’ and your defense as a pious hero, then make my descent to grim, to Stygian Dis. Andromache I’ll never hear the clash of your weapons again, unused, your iron will rust in the halls of men, and Priam’s line will die. __________________You’ll go to where no sun, no day e’er shines his golden face, to where the Cocytus slithers through the waste, your love will die in the Lethe. Hector Though all my hopes and all my thoughts will sink, from the gentle flow of the Lethe, my love won’t drink, no, my love won’t drink. __________________Listen! The Greeks are blustering at Ilium’s walls. Now gird my sword, hold back your tears, and listen to my word; My love won’t die in the Lethe. Original German Hektor und Andromache Andromache Will sich Hektor ewig von mir wenden, Wo Achill mit den unnahbarn Händen Dem Patroklus schrecklich Opfer bringt? Wer wird künftig deinen Kleinen lehren Speere werfen und die Götter ehren, Wenn der finstre Orkus dich verschlingt? Hektor Teures Weib, gebiete deinen Tränen, Nach der Feldschlacht ist mein feurig Sehnen, Diese Arme schützen Pergamus. Kämpfend für den heilgen Herd der Götter Fall ich, und des Vaterlandes Retter Steig ich nieder zu dem stygschen Fluß. Andromache Nimmer lausch ich deiner Waffen Schalle, Müßig liegt dein Eisen in der Halle, Priams großer Heldenstamm verdirbt. Du wirst hingehn, wo kein Tag mehr scheinet, Der Cocytus durch die Wüsten weinet, Deine Liebe in dem Lethe stirbt. Hektor All mein Sehnen will ich, all mein Denken In des Lethe stillen Strom versenken, Aber meine Liebe nicht. Horch! der Wilde tobt schon an den Mauern, Gürte mir das Schwert um, laß das Trauern, Hektors Liebe stirbt im Lethe nicht. Jonathan Shoulta teaches Latin and literature at a classical school in the Tidewater area of Virginia. He has been published in the Civilized Reader column of Crisis Magazine and by the Society of Classical Poets. 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Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 4 Responses Rob Crisell March 21, 2020 This is quite beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Reply Joseph S. Salemi March 21, 2020 A very apt rendering of Schiller’s dialogue. One question: in line 3, is “bloody” a good translation of “schrecklich”? The German word is very strong, and might better be rendered as “dreadful” or “horrid.” They both would fit the meter. Reply J. Shoulta March 21, 2020 You’re right that “bloody” is a loose translation to say the least. In English, though, “dreadful” is (or was) used so often for things that really don’t inspire dread; the word has lost the force it ought to have (and so with “awful”). Because of that common usage (or mis-usage), I thought “bloody” better preserved the “dread” in the poem than “dreadful”. Nowadays “horrid” is a bit stilted, so I didn’t want to use that, either. Reply C.B. Anderson March 21, 2020 Love of country and love of family have been put to the test, today as it was back then. I know little of Schiller other than the poem I was asked to translate and memorize back in high school, which begins: Er stand auf seines Daches Zinnen German genitives were a bitch, but I am happy now to see and be able to understand something more of the writer who stood next to Goethe in the annals of German romanticism. Herr Steene did his best to try to educate us small-town American louts. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.