The Happy Prince

and Other Tales

Der glückliche Prinz

und andere Geschichten

Übersetzt von Wilhelm Cremer
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2022









High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince.
He was gil­ded all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sap­phires,
and a large red ruby glowed on his sword-hilt.
He was very much ad­mired in­deed. “He is as beau­ti­ful as a weath­er­cock,” re­marked one of the Town Coun­cil­lors who wished to gain a repu­ta­tion for hav­ing artist­ic tastes;
“only not quite so use­ful,” he ad­ded, fear­ing lest people should think him un­prac­tic­al, which he really was not.
“Why can’t you be like the Happy Prince?” asked a sens­ible moth­er of her little boy who was cry­ing for the moon.
“The Happy Prince nev­er dreams of cry­ing for any­thing.”
“I am glad there is some one in the world who is quite happy,”
muttered a dis­ap­poin­ted man as he gazed at the won­der­ful statue.
“He looks just like an an­gel,” said the Char­ity Chil­dren as they came out of the cathed­ral in their bright scar­let cloaks and their clean white pin­a­fores.
“How do you know?” said the Math­em­at­ic­al Mas­ter, “you have nev­er seen one.”
“Ah! but we have, in our dreams,” answered the chil­dren;
and the Math­em­at­ic­al Mas­ter frowned and looked very severe, for he did not ap­prove of chil­dren dream­ing.
One night there flew over the city a little Swal­low.
His friends had gone away to Egypt six weeks be­fore, but he had stayed be­hind, for he was in love with the most beau­ti­ful Reed.
He had met her early in the spring as he was fly­ing down the river after a big yel­low moth,
and had been so at­trac­ted by her slender waist that he had stopped to talk to her.
“Shall I love you?” said the Swal­low, who liked to come to the point at once,
and the Reed made him a low bow. So he flew round and round her, touch­ing the wa­ter with his wings, and mak­ing sil­ver ripples.
This was his court­ship, and it las­ted all through the sum­mer.
“It is a ri­dicu­lous at­tach­ment,” twittered the oth­er Swal­lows;
“she has no money, and far too many re­la­tions”; and in­deed the river was quite full of Reeds.
Then, when the au­tumn came they all flew away.
After they had gone he felt lonely, and began to tire of his lady-love.
“She has no con­ver­sa­tion,” he said, “and I am afraid that she is a coquette, for she is al­ways flirt­ing with the wind.”
And cer­tainly, whenev­er the wind blew, the Reed made the most grace­ful curt­seys.
“I ad­mit that she is do­mest­ic,” he con­tin­ued, “but I love trav­el­ling, and my wife, con­sequently, should love trav­el­ling also.”
“Will you come away with me?” he said fi­nally to her; but the Reed shook her head, she was so at­tached to her home.
“You have been tri­fling with me,” he cried. “I am off to the Pyr­am­ids. Good-bye!” and he flew away.
All day long he flew, and at night-time he ar­rived at the city.
“Where shall I put up?” he said; “I hope the town has made pre­par­a­tions.”
Then he saw the statue on the tall column.
“I will put up there,” he cried; “it is a fine po­s­i­tion, with plenty of fresh air.”
So he alighted just between the feet of the Happy Prince.

Oscar Wilde
The Happy Prince / Der glückliche Prinz
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Wilhelm Cremer

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