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Hans Huckebein (The Unlucky Raven) Prologue

Wilhelm Busch 1832 (Wiedensahl) – 1908 (German Empire)

Sosehr sein Ende mich bewegt,
Ich durft' es anders nicht vermelden. -
Er stirbt - denn tragisch angelegt
War der Charakter dieses Helden.

His ending moves me; only, mind,
A diff'rent one I can't envision.
He dies - for tragically designed
Was our hero's disposition.

Gar manches ist vorherbestimmt;
Das Schicksal führt ihn in Bedrängnis;
Doch wie er sich dabei benimmt,
Ist seine Schuld und nicht Verhängnis.

There is a predetermined fate,
And fortune seems to be essential;
But how to act, how to relate
- that is his fault, not providential.

Drum bleibt's dabei! - Denn die Moral
Ist hier kein leeres Wortgeklingel -
Und lebte er auch noch einmal,
Er bliebe doch der alte Schlingel!

The moral, thus, remains unchanged
And is no empty declaration,
For if once more this world he ranged,
He'd be the same old aggravation.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

44 sec read
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Wilhelm Busch

Heinrich Christian Wilhelm Busch was a German humorist, poet, illustrator and painter. He published comic illustrated cautionary tales from 1859, achieving his most notable works in the 1870s. Busch's illustrations used wood engraving, and later, zincography. Busch drew on contemporary parochial and city life, satirizing Catholicism, Philistinism, strict religious morality and bigotry. His comic text was colourful and entertaining, using onomatopoeia, neologisms and other figures of speech, and led to some work being banned by the authorities. Busch was influential in both poetry and illustration, and became a source for future generations of comic artists. The Katzenjammer Kids was inspired by Busch's Max and Moritz, one of a number of imitations produced in Germany and the United States. The Wilhelm Busch Prize and the Wilhelm Busch Museum help maintain his legacy. His 175th anniversary in 2007 was celebrated throughout Germany. Busch remains one of the most influential poets and artists in Western Europe. more…

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