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Old 07-16-2017, 01:50 AM   #1
AlexBell
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Help with German poetry please

I'm now working on In the Mountains by Elizabeth von Arnim for the MobileRead library. The book was published in 1920, and doesn't have much German.

There is a couplet for which I can more or less translate each line, but can't make them make sense together. The couplet is:

Reines Glück geniesst doch nie
Wer zahlen soll und weiss nicht wie.

Can anyone help, please? If it is from a well known poem could you also provide the author's name?
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:05 AM   #2
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The person who is supposed to pay and doesn't know how
Never enjoys pure happiness
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:36 AM   #3
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Alex, you really should try doing a Google search. It took me about 5 seconds to identify the poem and its author:

http://www.bier-lexikon.lauftext.de/wilhelm-busch.htm
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:49 AM   #4
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Alex, you really should try doing a Google search. It took me about 5 seconds to identify the poem and its author:

http://www.bier-lexikon.lauftext.de/wilhelm-busch.htm
Thanks, Harry. I was actually looking for the English translation, which so far as I can tell is not given on the site you found.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:50 AM   #5
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The person who is supposed to pay and doesn't know how
Never enjoys pure happiness
Thanks for the translation.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:20 AM   #6
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Thanks, Harry. I was actually looking for the English translation, which so far as I can tell is not given on the site you found.
It isn't - very true. I was referring to the "can anyone tell me the name of the poem and the author" part of your post.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucyOne View Post
The person who is supposed to pay and doesn't know how
Never enjoys pure happiness
Thanks again, LucyOne.

I've looked around some more after seeing your translation, and wonder whether

Pure happiness can never be enjoyed by those who should pay and do not know how.

might work - it puts the meaning in the same order as the published lines. Would this be a reasonable translation? I really am only guessing.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
I've looked around some more after seeing your translation, and wonder whether

Pure happiness can never be enjoyed by those who should pay and do not know how.

might work - it puts the meaning in the same order as the published lines. Would this be a reasonable translation? I really am only guessing.
Looks good to me.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:11 AM   #9
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Looks good to me.
Thanks, Gudy. Unless I get any better suggestions that's what I'll use.
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
Thanks again, LucyOne.

I've looked around some more after seeing your translation, and wonder whether

Pure happiness can never be enjoyed by those who should pay and do not know how.

might work - it puts the meaning in the same order as the published lines. Would this be a reasonable translation? I really am only guessing.
Sure, this works. My translation was done "on the fly", no time for inversion
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:21 AM   #11
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I've come up with something that almost rhymes:

Pure bliss, alas, cannot enjoy
Someone who must, but cannot, pay.

Last edited by doubleshuffle; 07-19-2017 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:15 PM   #12
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I've come up with something that almost rhymes:

Pure bliss, alas, cannot enjoy
Someone who must, but cannot, pay.
Thanks
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:49 AM   #13
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I've come up with something that almost rhymes:

Pure bliss, alas, cannot enjoy
Someone who must, but cannot, pay.


Good job! I I tried to come up with something similar but only drew a blank this time.
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