No Comment — August 1, 2007, 7:33 am

Brentano’s ‘A Servant’s Springtime Cry from the Deep’

  1. Master, without your compassion
    I must despair in the abyss
    Do you not want to carry me
    With strong arms back to the light?

  2. With each year your goodness
    Reaches into the earth and into men’s hearts
    With each year you arouse the blooms,
    And your arouse in me the old pains.

  3. Born but once to the light,
    But dead a thousand times,
    I am lost without you
    Without you I am spoiled in myself.

  4. When the earth moves thus,
    When the air waves sunnily,
    Then the flow is moved as well,
    Which stands in a funereal shroud.

  5. And in my heart shudders
    A sorrowful, bitter fountain
    If the springtime lurks outside,
    Then a flood of anxieties will run against me.

  6. Woe! Through poisonous earthly premises
    As time flows into them,
    I have sunk the shafts
    And he is but weakly condemned.

  7. As the springs now swell about us,
    As the ground bring forth about us,
    The poisonous waves break upon us,
    Which compel no curse, no wit.

  8. I call to others, swimming, swimming,
    But no such call can be good for me,
    For in me rises the grim Deluge,
    Surging from my eyes.

  9. And then they all seemed evil growths
    To me, all these bright lambs,
    Which I greeted, sweet fruits,
    Which ripened to me into bitter bile.

  10. Lord, take pity upon me,
    Make my heart bloom anew,
    No one has taken pity upon me
    From the springtimes of the earth.

  11. Master, if all hands approach
    You with sweet-filled peelings,
    Then I will never pay my debt
    To you with a bitter donation.

  12. Oh, how I rake more deeply,
    How I create and wine,
    Never shall I flush the torrent
    Into the firm and pure foundation of crystal.

  13. The walls always collapse upon me,
    Every stratum lies to me,
    And hands bloodied by work
    Burn in the bitter swells.

  14. Woe! The space grows tighter,
    Wilder and more deserted grow the waves,
    Lord, oh lord, I can sustain it no longer,
    Strike your rainbow.

  15. Lord, I plea to you, spare me,
    Lord! I heard it recently said,
    Wondrous salvation resides
    In your floresence.

  16. And so I cry to you,
    I cry from the bitterest depths,
    Can you not then forgive that
    Your servant so audaciously ripens.

  17. That the source of light again
    Flows pure and holy in me
    One drop trickles down
    From Jesus, to me, to your bloom!

Clemens Brentano, Frühlingsschrei eines Knechtes aus der Tiefe in Brentanos Werke, vol. 1, p. 329-335 (Carl Hanser ed. 1968)(S.H. transl.)

Share
Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

No Comment March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm

Scott Horton Debates John Rizzo on Democracy Now!

On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers

No Comment November 4, 2013, 5:17 pm

The Torture Doctors

An expert panel concludes that the Pentagon and the CIA ordered physicians to violate the Hippocratic Oath

No Comment August 12, 2013, 7:55 am

Obama’s Snowden Dilemma

How will the Obama Administration handle Edward Snowden’s case in the long term?

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $34.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

May 2014

50,000 Life Coaches Can’t Be Wrong

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Quinoa Quarrel

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

You Had to Be There

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Study in Sherlock

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
“In Thunupa’s footsteps grew a miraculous plant that could withstand drought, cold, and even salt, and still produce a nutritious grain.”
Photograph by Lisa M. Hamilton
Article
A Study in Sherlock·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“It is central to the pleasure of the Sherlock Holmes stories that they invite play, and that they were never meant to be taken seriously.”
Illustration by Frederic Dorr Steele
Post
My Top 5 Metal Albums and Their Poetic Counterparts·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“1. Death, The Sound of Perseverance (Nuclear Blast, 1998)”
Photograph (detail) by Peter Beste
Article
Found Money·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I have spent my entire adult existence in a recession. Like most people I talk to, I assume the forces that control the market are at best random and at worst rigged. The auction shows only confirm that suspicion.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Post
The School of Permanent Revolución·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The University of Venezuela has provided a consistent counterweight to governmental authority, but it has also reliably produced the elite of whatever group replaced the status quo.”
Photograph © Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez

Percentage of non-Christian Americans who say they believe in the resurrection of Christ:

52

A newly translated Coptic text alleged Judas’ kiss to have been necessitated by Jesus’ ability to shape-shift.

Russia reportedly dropped a series of math texts from a list of recommended curricular books because its illustrations featured too many non-Russian characters. “Gnomes, Snow White,” said a Russian education expert, “these are representatives of a foreign-language culture.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST