Frozen Inside

Frozen Inside (translation of “Erstarrung” by Wilhelm Müller from Schubert’s “Winterreise” song cycle)

I’m making futile searches
In snow for track or trace,
Amongst the pines and birches
Where she and I’d embrace.
I’m making futile searches
In snow for track or trace,
Amongst the pines and birches
Where she and I’d embrace.

I want to touch the bottom,
Bore down through ice and snow
With my hot tears to penetrate
The earth, the earth, the earth below.
I want to touch the bottom,
Bore down through ice and snow
With my hot tears to penetrate
The earth, the earth, the earth below.

Where can I find a flower,
Where do I see green grass?
The flowers are all slumbering,
The lawn a white morass.
The flowers are all slumbering,
The lawn a white morass.
Where can I find a flower,
Where do I see green grass?

Should then no fond remembrance
Be took by me from here?
Her form to melt in silence,
No word to reach my ear?
Should then no fond remembrance
Be took by me from there?
Her form to melt in silence,
No word to reach my ear?

My heart is like those flowers,
All shrivelled up within;
But when the Spring shall come at last
They’ll grow and blossom in here again!
My heart is like an icicle,
All frozen up within;
But when the Spring doth come at last
It melts, and blossoms, once more, within—
Her form again!

English verse translation © Thomas Beavitt 2017
Painting by Chisha

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