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Es gibt keine Maikäfer mehr (English translation)

Proofreading requested
English translationEnglish
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There Aren't Any May Bugs Anymore

When I stand in front of the new garage, I sometimes think
About how it used to look here, before they started building:
There, right at the entrance, where you pay, that was Schlüter's house,
And right there, next to the gate, that's where old lady Kraus lived.
I used to climb over her fence every spring like clockwork,
And just as regularly I got thrashed for it.
The neighbor children didn't dare go into that garden, so
There were more may bugs there than other places.
I can see myself setting out, with a big shoe box,
With air holes in the cover, on another expedition;
I'd shake the trees, and root through the moss too,
My successes were splendid and my list of tricks was long.
If I set forth today once more, my shoe box would likely stay empty;
Even a good bug hunter
Would bring no chimney-sweeps,
No millers, and surely never a kaiser back:1
There aren't any may bugs anymore, there aren't any may bugs anymore!
 
Now and then old Schlüter would take a look at my haul.
He was a may bug expert and could remember that
Once the beetles were a plague, and even
Worth a bounty to the one who could catch the most,
That the children got a day off school for the may bug hunt,
And he said that he scored some real coups in those days.
The numbers that he named really impressed me,
So that I returned home with my haul almost ashamed.
If I could catch even half as many as back in those days,
I'd be crowned the king of all may bug hunters.
Not that I've forgotten how, and where, you would catch them,
Or that I'm past the age now where you have the urge.
No, if I set out once more, my shoe box would likely stay empty;
Even a good bug hunter
Would bring no chimney-sweeps,
No millers, and surely never a kaiser back:
There aren't any may bugs anymore, there aren't any may bugs anymore!
 
There are more important things, but nevertheless I'm writing,
On a birch leaf, the music for a beetles' requiem.
There must surely be some problem more worth studying
Than why nowadays in the garage there's probably not a single may bug living.
Why aren't any crawling in the branches of the oak out front?
If these questions won't leave me in peace,
Maybe it's because I once learned from them how to hum,
How to scratch and tickle, how to count and how to buzz,
How to stretch out your feelers, and of course, because it seems to me
That they're somehow distant namesakes of mine.
Maybe their vanishing worries me, because from it I surmise,
Maybe the may bugs have just left a bit before us.
For if I set out once more, my shoe box would likely stay empty;
Even a good bug hunter
Would bring no chimney-sweeps,
No millers, and surely never a kaiser back:
There aren't any may bugs anymore, there aren't any may bugs anymore!
 
  • 1. Various kinds of may bug: http://www.lvz.de/Mehr/Deine-Tierwelt/Tiergeschichten/Zehn-fuer-einen-Mu... (sorry, it's in German). "Meistens waren es Müller, die in den Gläsern krabbelten. Ihren Namen erhielten sie durch die scheinbare Mehlschicht auf dem braunen Panzer. Schon seltener waren die Schornsteinfeger mit ihrem fast schwarzen Rücken. Der äußerst rare Kaiser blieb für uns ein Phantom. Der Erzählung nach sollte er rötlich an Kopf und Brustschild sein." (Mostly it was millers that would be crawling around in the jars. They got their name from the way their brown shells looked dusted with flour. Rarer were the chimney-sweeps with their almost black backs. The extremely rare kaiser was more like a legend to us. Supposedly it had a reddish head and chest.)
Thanks!
thanked 2 times
Submitted by fulicaseniafulicasenia on Wed, 17/10/2018 - 07:13
Added in reply to request by Larry ParsonsLarry Parsons
Last edited by fulicaseniafulicasenia on Tue, 29/06/2021 - 20:22
The author of translation requested proofreading.
It means that he/she will be happy to receive corrections, suggestions etc about the translation.
If you are proficient in both languages of the language pair, you are welcome to leave your comments.
German
German
German

Es gibt keine Maikäfer mehr

Idioms from "Es gibt keine ..."
Comments
Hansi K_LauerHansi K_Lauer    Fri, 25/06/2021 - 01:42

>"that's where old Krause lived." = that's where old Mrs. Kraus lived.
hence: "I used to climb over her fence ..."
Wink smile

Hansi K_LauerHansi K_Lauer    Tue, 29/06/2021 - 21:04

and since I'm nitpicking:
>" Und gleich dort, neben der Schranke, da wohnte die alte Kraus."
"Schranke" means a railway x-ing. Schranke is the bar that goes down when a train comes.
Wink smile

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