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Aria: So oft ich meine Tobackspfeife

by J.S. Bach

Whenever I pick up my tobacco-pipe,
Stuffed with good tobacco
For pleasure and pastime,
It gives me a sad impression -
And leads to the conclusion
That I resemble it in many ways.

The pipe was made from clay and earth
And so was I.
One day I will be earth again -
It often falls from the hand
And breaks before you know,
My destiny is the same.

The pipe is usually not colored;
It remains white. So therefore,
One day when I am dying
My body will turn pale.
Once buried it becomes black, just like
A pipe that has been used for a long time.

When the pipe is lit,
One sees the smoke disappear instantly
In the free air,
Leaving nothing but ashes behind.
The glory of all mankind is consumed
And the body turns to dust.

So often it happens while smoking,
That the stuffer is not handy,
And instead the finger is used,
Then I wonder when I burn myself,
If the ashes make such pain
How hot will it be in Hades?

Since such is the case,
From my tobacco I can always
Erect enlightening thoughts.
Therefore, in comfort I smoke
On Land, at sea and at home
My little pipe, with devotion.