Monday, August 1, 2011

Lost in Translation



















My sons invited me to celebrate the Swiss National Day in New York City. Both of them have sweet memories of their vacations in Switzerland. We enjoyed the food and each other's company. This year, Switzerland is 720 years old; and I am proud to have grown up in this beautiful country. As the Swiss national anthem was performed, tears welled up in me. For the first time I truly listened to the words. What a statement of faith!

As soon as I got back home, I looked up the translation of the anthem into English. I was shocked to see it had been 'cleaned up,' stripped of much religious imagery. Was it for the sake of rhymes? So I set out to do a literal translation. Here it is:


When You enter in the morning's red glow

I see You in the radiance of the light

Thou, highly exalted, glorious One

When the alps grow bright with splendor

Pray free Swiss, pray

For your quiet soul senses

Your quiet soul senses

God in our noble fatherland

God, the Lord, in our noble fatherland


When You enter the evening's gleam

I find you in the host of stars

Thou, human friendly, loving One

In the heavens illuminated halls

I can dream with joy and bliss

My quiet soul senses

My quiet soul senses

God in our noble fatherland

God, the Lord, in our noble fatherland



When You move through the fog's bloom

I search you in the sea of clouds

Thou, unfathomable, eternal One

Through the dark grey shroud

Breaks the mild, clear sun

Our quiet soul senses

Our quiet soul senses

God in our noble fatherland

God, the Lord, in our noble fatherland



When You drive in a wild storm

You become both sanctuary and defense

Thou almighty ruler and savior

In thunderstorm and horror

Let us childlike trust in You

Our quiet soul senses

Our quiet soul senses

God in our noble fatherland

God, the Lord, in our noble fatherland


2 comments:

  1. Very beautiful!

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  2. Would that more nations acknowledge their religious heritage. Thanks!

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