Hello,
I would like to make a survey concerning different translations of this famous Hölderlin poem into English. Please tell me which translation you prefer and possibly why.

Original poem:

Mit gelben Birnen hänget
Und voll mit wilden Rosen
Das Land in den See,
Ihr holden Schwäne,
Und trunken von Kässen
Tunkt ihr das Haupt
Ins heilign?chterne Wasser.

Weh mir, wo nehm ich, wenn
Es Winter ist, die Blumen, und wo
Den Sonnenschein,
Und Schatten der Erde?
Die Mauern stehn
Sprachlos und kalt, im Winde
Klirren die Fahnen.


Literal translation (by me):

Half of Life

With yellow pears hangs
And full with wild roses
The land into the lake,
You graceful swans,
And drunk with kisses
You dip the head
Into the holy-sober water.

Woe is me, where do I take, when
It is winter, the flowers, and where
The sunshine
And the shadow of the earth?
The walls stand
Speechless and cold, in the wind
The banners clink.

1) Translation by Michael Hamburger

The Middle of Life

With yellow pears the land
And full of wild roses
Hangs down into the lake,
You lovely swans,
And drunk with kisses
You dip your heads
Into the hallowed, the sober water.

But oh, where shall I find
When winter comes, the flowers, and where
The sunshine
And shade of the earth?
The walls loom
Speechless and cold, in the wind
weathercocks clatter.


2) Translation by Richard Sieburth

Half of Life

With its yellow pears
And wild roses everywhere
The shore hangs in the lake,
O gracious swans,
And drunk with kisses
You dip your heads
In the sobering holy water.

Ah, where will I find
Flowers, come winter,
And where the sunshine
And shade of the earth?
Walls stand cold
And speechless, in the wind
The weathervanes creak.


3) Translation by David Constantine

Half of Life

The land with yellow pears
And full of wild roses
Hangs into the lake
O gracious swans
And drunk with kisses
You plunge your heads
Into the holy, the sober water.

Alas, for where in winter
Shall I come by flowers and where
The sunlight and
The shade of the earth?
The walls stand
Speechless and cold, the wind
Clatters the weathervanes.